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Dani
10-12-2011, 11:58 AM
Can an attorney fight a search warrant before it happens. If they know ahead of time the police are going to search a person's boat or car etc, is there a way to fight that? Or do they need to wait and fight the evidence produced from it?

Snick
10-12-2011, 01:12 PM
If there were hearings before a search warrant was issued, then it could be fought, but the one to be searched is informed of the action be the service of the warrant, so there is no such opportunity.

Dani
10-12-2011, 01:16 PM
The place to be searched is a bank deposit box. As I understood from reading some of the other answers on the board, search warrants are usually served during business hours (daylight) unless there is some kind of emergency.

The lawyer learns of the plans in the evening. I was wondering if she could apply for an injunction and then fight the search warrant.

Snick
10-12-2011, 01:39 PM
If the hawyer found out in advance, then an attempt to stop iit would be possible, but that situation isn't likely. It just takes one judge to sign a warrant, so the police could just go to another judge.

Dani
10-12-2011, 01:48 PM
Do police seek multiple warrants? I didn't realize that was even possible.

In this case they are granted a warrant in the evening to serve the following day at the bank. The lawyer does find out and my question is can they request an injunction and a hearing on whether the search warrant is valid?

jclarkdawe
10-12-2011, 03:44 PM
First off, you need to realize that there are search warrants that are issued where the public could have knowledge of them, and search warrants that are issued in complete secrecy, with the search warrant being sealed, even after it is executed.

So an unsealed warrant could potentially be discovered by an attorney prior to execution. It happens, but very rarely. But assuming the attorney discovers it, the attorney can file with the court to quash the search warrant. Most likely, this would happen when an institution such as a bank is served with a warrant and the institution disagrees with the warrant for some reason. For example, a bank would ask to quash a search warrant that does not provide a specific bank deposit box. A bank is not going to allow the police to hunt and peck.

At that point, a bank could notify their customer of the search warrant. Unlikely, but it has happened.

But regardless of how the attorney finds out, the attorney absolutely has a right to quash a search warrant. Doesn't happen often, but it has been successful.

Multiple search warrants can be issued when multiple subjects and/or multiple locations are searched.

The situation Snick describes has happened (definitely the prosecutors judge shop for search warrants -- they look for the ones most likely to sign one), but can lead to ticked off judges (judges are a lot like elephants -- they have good memories and are likely to take out their anger in whatever way they can) and charges of abuse of power. Basically prosecutors, firmly believing in their case, will try several judges to get the warrant they want. Told no by one (or more) judge, they try others.

If a search warrant is quashed, the prosecutor could not seek another warrant that is exactly the same with a different judge. However, if changes are made, they could ask a different judge. Question is what changes are enough to warrant this.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Dani
10-12-2011, 04:11 PM
Repped you for that awesome answer. Thanks so much. That was exactly what I was looking for. In this instance, there wasn't a reason for secrecy and it was just understood the warrant would be filed.

Is there a hearing for the quashing or is there just some kind of meeting in judges chambers with the lawyers? (I'm asking this in a timing sense because I want there to be a significant number of hours used up by the attorney seeking to block the warrant).

jclarkdawe
10-12-2011, 04:33 PM
Is there a hearing for the quashing or is there just some kind of meeting in judges chambers with the lawyers? (I'm asking this in a timing sense because I want there to be a significant number of hours used up by the attorney seeking to block the warrant).

You file a motion to quash the search warrant. A hearing is then scheduled, the time being dependent upon the schedules of the attorneys and the judge, and the need for speed.

Definitely one approach at this hear is to produce the offending article. For example, let's say the police are looking for all of the guns owned by the defendant. Attorney brings them into court saying, here, have fun. That way the defendant can keep hidden the million dollars in funny money he also has in the safe deposit box.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Dani
10-12-2011, 04:39 PM
You file a motion to quash the search warrant. A hearing is then scheduled, the time being dependent upon the schedules of the attorneys and the judge, and the need for speed.

Definitely one approach at this hear is to produce the offending article. For example, let's say the police are looking for all of the guns owned by the defendant. Attorney brings them into court saying, here, have fun. That way the defendant can keep hidden the million dollars in funny money he also has in the safe deposit box.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

You pretty much rock.

Wholly and totally.

<3
Thanks again.