Ten Things a Valid Search Warrant Must Have in Pennsylvania

While valid search warrants are permissible under the Pennsylvania Constitution and under the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution, law enforcement must satisfy very specific requirements to obtain one and even then, the warrant itself must contain certain information. The 10 things every search warrant must have to be valid are as follows:

PA search warrants
  1. A warrant must have an affidavit of probable cause attached to it which tells the person issuing the warrant that there is probable cause for the search and seizure of the item in question. Probable cause is the reasonable expectation that a crime was or is being committed;
  2. A warrant must be based on reliable information by some witness or an informant;
  3. A warrant must have the information used to obtain it corroborated by another source other than that same witness or the informant;
  4. A warrant must be signed and sealed by the issuing judge;
  5. A warrant must have a specific date and time of issuance;
  6. A warrant must identify specifically the property to be seized;
  7. A warrant must name and describe with particularity the person or place to be searched;
  8. A warrant must be executed within a specified period of time not to exceed two days from the date of issuance;
  9. A warrant must be served during the day light hours (typically 8 am -5 pm), unless otherwise authorized on the warrant;
  10. A warrant must state the title of the judicial officer who issued the warrant. This person must also certify that he has found probable cause based upon the facts sworn to or affirmed by police based on the witness or the informant.

If you have any questions about search warrants or are charged with a crime call Gregory J. Spadea at 610-521-0604.

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