Procedure for Obtaining a Search Warrant

How a Warrant is Issued & Executed

Our lawyers receive frequent inquiries from individuals, their friends or families, concerning whether a search warrant was issued properly or executed in accordance with the law in New Jersey. While the law does presume that a Search Warrant is valid and enforceable, there are many requirements that are imposed in conjunction with how a warrant is obtained or how the related search is to be conducted. The attorneys at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are well versed in these rules and are available to answer your questions and/or defend your case. A lawyer on our defense team, which possesses over 100 years of collective experience and multiple former prosecutors, is available 24/7 to assist you. An attorney is ready to fight the search warrant in your matter anywhere in NJ, including Monmouth County, Ocean County, Union County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Morris County, Mercer County or Passaic County. We hope you find the information regarding search warrants valuable and you may also refer to NJ Search & Seizure for additional guidance.

NJ Law: Issuance and Execution of a Search Warrant

How a Warrant is Issued

In order for the police to obtain a search warrant, the applicant must appear before a judge and must present facts, either through direct testimony or an affidavit, that establishes grounds for issuance. A ground for issuance exists where there is probable cause to believe that a search will yield property “obtained in violation of penal law…, possessed, controlled, designed or intended for use or which has been used in connection with any such violation; or constituting evidence of or tending to show any such violation”. R. 3:5-2. If the judge grants the search warrant, it is to be signed and identify the property to be seized, naming or describing the person or place to be searched and specifying the hours when it may be executed.

How a Warrant is Executed

There are a series of steps that police are supposed to follow in executing a search warrant and they generally include:

  1. Police are to knock and announce their presence unless they have a “no knock” warrant.
  2. Police may then enter the premises and locate those persons who are to be searched or arrested pursuant to the warrant. The general rule is that police may not arrest or search anyone who is not named in the warrant.
  3. Police should then advise the persons arrested or searched of the contents of the warrant and provide them with a copy of the document.
  4. Miranda warnings should be read to the appropriate individuals, including anyone arrested.
  5. The police should thereafter proceed with any search provided for in the warrant.
  6. An inventory of any and all evidence seized should be prepared.

Call us anytime at 1-877-450-8301 and one of our lawyers will be happy to provide assistance. You may also arrange a complimentary initial consultation with an attorney at one of our offices conveniently located a short distance from the Superior Court Courthouse in Ocean County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Union County, Essex County, Hudson County, Passaic County, Bergen County, and Morris County.