Search Warrants

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes that the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Article I, Section 12 of the Constitution of the State of Florida similarly states, “[n]o warrant shall be issued except upon probable cause, supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, the person or persons, thing or things to be seized, the communication to be intercepted, and the nature of evidence to be obtained.”

Both the federal and state constitutions protect the right of Floridians to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, but both also authorize law enforcement to search people, locations, or vehicles when police officers have probable cause to believe that a crime has taken place. Lack of probable cause, property searched or seized not being specified in a warrant, or other procedural errors may lead to warrants being improperly issued and evidence obtained during searches being suppressed at trial.

Lawyer for Search Warrants in Brooksville, FL

Do you think or know that a search warrant has been issued against you or was your home, business, or motor vehicle recently the subject of a warranted search in Central Florida? Do not say anything to authorities until you have first contacted The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A..

Brooksville criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls aggressively defends clients in communities all over Hernando County, such as Wildwood, Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, New Port Richey, Inverness, Spring Hill, and many others.

You can have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (352) 593-4115 to schedule a initial consultation.

Overview of Search Warrants in Florida

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When Search Warrants Can Be Issued in Hernando County

Florida Statute § 933.01 establishes that a search warrant authorized by law can be issued by any judge, including the committing judge of the trial court having jurisdiction where the place, vehicle, or thing to be searched may be.

Under Florida Statute § 933.04, no search warrant will be issued except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation particularly describing the place to be searched and the person and thing to be seized.

Search warrants can be issued upon any of the following grounds, under Florida Statute § 933.02:

  • When the property shall have been stolen or embezzled in violation of law;
  • When any property shall have been used as a means to commit any crime; in connection with gambling, gambling implements and appliances; or in violation of Florida Statute § 847.011 or other laws in reference to obscene prints and literature;
  • When any property constitutes evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed;
  • When any property is being held or possessed in violation of any of the laws prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors; in violation of the fish and game laws; in violation of the laws relative to food and drug; or in violation of the laws relative to citrus disease pursuant to Florida Statute § 581.184; or
  • When the laws in relation to cruelty to animals, as provided in Chapter 828 of the Florida Statutes, have been or are violated in any particular building or place.

Florida Statute § 933.18 also provides that a warrant cannot be issued to search any private dwelling occupied as such unless:

  • It is being used for the unlawful sale, possession, or manufacture of intoxicating liquor;
  • Stolen or embezzled property is contained therein;
  • It is being used to carry on gambling;
  • It is being used to perpetrate frauds and swindles;
  • The law relating to narcotics or drug abuse is being violated therein;
  • A weapon, instrumentality, or means by which a felony has been committed, or evidence relevant to proving said felony has been committed, is contained therein;
  • One or more of the following child abuse offenses is being committed there: Interference with custody; Commission of an unnatural and lascivious act with a child; or Exposure of sexual organs to a child;
  • It is in part used for some business purpose such as a store, shop, saloon, restaurant, hotel, boardinghouse, or lodging house;
  • It is being used for the unlawful sale, possession, or purchase of wildlife, saltwater products, or freshwater fish being unlawfully kept therein;
  • The laws in relation to cruelty to animals, as provided in Chapter 828 of the Florida Statutes, have been or are being violated therein; or
  • An instrumentality or means by which sexual cyberharassment has been committed in violation of Florida Statute § 784.049, or evidence relevant to proving that sexual cyberharassment has been committed in violation of Florida Statute § 784.049, is contained therein.

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Execution of Search Warrants in Brooksville

Under Florida Statute § 933.08, a search warrant must be served by any of the officers mentioned in their direction, but by no other person except in aid of the officer requiring it so long as said officer is present and acting in its execution.

Law enforcement is authorized under Florida Statute § 933.09 to break open any outer doors, inner doors, or windows of houses, or any parts of houses or anything therein, to execute warrants, provided that after due notice of an officer’s authority and purpose he or she was refused admittance to said house or access to anything therein.

Search warrants can be served day or night and on Sundays. Florida Statute § 933.11 states that all search warrants must be issued in duplicate, with the duplicate being delivered to the officer with the original warrant.

The officer serving the warrant must deliver a copy to the person named in the warrant, or in his or her absence to some person in charge of, or living on the premises. A police officer must deliver to the person named in the warrant a written inventory of the property taken and receipt for property taken under a warrant.

Under Florida Statute § 933.15, a person commits a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if he or she knowingly and willfully obstructs, resists, or opposes any officer or person aiding such officer, in serving or attempting to serve or execute any search warrant, or assaults, beats, or wounds any person or officer, or his or her deputies or assistants, knowing him or her to be such an officer or person so authorized.

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When Search Warrants Are Not Required in Florida

Police officers do not need search warrants to search the person or property of individuals who consent to being searched. Other exceptions to search warrant requirements include situations in which evidence of a crime is in plain view or a search is conducted following a lawful arrest.

Law enforcement may be authorized to conduct certain searches without warrants when exigent circumstances—exceptions to Fourth Amendment requirements—exist in which authorities do not have adequate time to attempt to obtain a warrant. Some of the most common examples of exigent circumstances in search warrant cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Preventing destruction of alleged evidence;
  • Preventing escape or “hot pursuit” of an alleged offender;
  • When an alleged offender is armed; or
  • Protecting life and property.

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Search Warrants Resources in Hernando County

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Local Warrants Report — Use this section of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office website to view a list of people who are wanted on active, outstanding Hernando County warrants. Active warrants information is delayed three days before posting on the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office website. Final disposition information relating to criminal charges can be found on the Hernando County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller website.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
18900 Cortez Blvd.
Brooksville, FL 34601
(352) 754-6830

Your 4th Amendment Rights | Judicial Learning Center — The Judicial Learning Center is both a physical space—located in the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, Missouri—and a not-for-profit corporation, with the mission to “promote public understanding of the function and value of the judicial branch of government, especially at the federal level.” On this section of its website, you can learn more about your Fourth Amendment rights. You can also find case studies relating to Fourth Amendment rights.

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The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. | Brooksville Search Warrants Defense Attorney

If your home, business, or vehicle was the subject of a search in Central Florida, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. represents individuals in communities throughout Pasco County, Hernando County, Citrus County, and Sumter County.

Ashley Aulls is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brooksville who can review whether your search was unlawfully conducted and may be able to file motions to have evidence against you suppressed if it was unlawfully obtained.

Call (352) 593-4115 or complete an online contact form today to have our attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a confidential consultation.

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