Criminal Defense Firm Serving Northeastern And Central Pennsylvania
Free Consultation: 570-279-4191
Criminal Defense Firm Serving Northeastern And Central Pennsylvania
Excellence In Criminal Defense

What must be included in a search warrant?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2021 | Criminal Defense, Criminal Defense |

In order to enter your home, a law enforcement officer must present a search warrant. You do not need to admit police without a warrant.

Statutory law mandates what information must be on a warrant. Failing to include correct information and proceeding with a search could be a violation of your right to due process. Here are some key things that a search warrant must contain.

Parties and location

A warrant needs to identify a party who is the subject of a search. The location where officers will conduct a search must be clear. Overly broad descriptions may be insufficient.

Property or contraband

The face of a warrant must describe what if any property law enforcement officers intend to seize. Seizure of property may be improper if it is not within the scope of the property described.


Search warrants expire. They need to specify how many days after issuance a search must take place.

For the most part, law enforcement officers execute searches in the daytime. If officers execute a warrant past 10:00 pm, the warrant must provide authorization to do so.

Certification of probable cause

A search warrant must include a certification that the issuing authority has found that there is probable cause to conduct a search. If an officer’s sworn statement is the evidentiary basis for probable cause, it is necessary to attach an affidavit.

If your legal counsel can identify any errors or omissions, it may be possible to defeat criminal charges against you. Evidence that law enforcement obtained without a valid search warrant is inadmissible and could be grounds for dismissal.