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Vancouver Washington Criminal Defense Blog

Are There Exceptions To The Warrant Requirement?

The Fourth Amendment provides protection against government overreach when law enforcement searches for evidence of a crime. The home and its immediate surroundings, often described as the curtilage of the home, are given strong protections under the warrant requirement. In most situations, law enforcement is required to obtain a warrant based upon a showing of probable cause in order to lawfully conduct a search. The courts, however, recognize several exceptions to the warrant requirement, including:

Where is the evidence to support probable cause?

We recently discussed whether a signed warrant could be challenged in court. That story related to a federal appellate decision. Constitutional guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures is strong in Washington state courts, as well as federal courts. Take for instance the case of State v. Kelley, 762 P.2d 20 (Wn. App. 1988). In that case, attorney Steven W. Thayer challenged the validity of a warrant to successfully defend against several counts of drug charges and an associated allegation involving unlawfully obtained electricity.

The information submitted in support of the search warrant

Can a search warrant be challenged in court?

Many people may understand that police generally need to have a warrant to search a home. There are some exceptions to that rule. But, if members of law enforcement have a signed warrant to conduct a search, does that mean that the search is constitutional? The answer to that question requires the full analysis of the individual facts of the event. Police generally must provide sufficient information to a judicial officer to support probable cause for a search to obtain a valid warrant. Members of law enforcement, and judicial officers, can make mistakes related to the issuance of a warrant.

The Need For Particularized Information In A Search Warrant

Necessity defense wins DUI case

Over the last 40 years Steve and Jacy Thayer have tried and won just about every kind of DUI case imaginable. Most cases, of course, are resolved by negotiating a reduction in charge. The negotiating objective in most cases is a reduction to negligent driving, which can save a license suspension and jail time, in addition to the stigma of a DUI conviction. Many other cases are resolved on pre-trial motions to suppress evidence or for dismissal. But the most memorable cases are always the ones that get tried.

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