Lately based on the recent Supreme Court hearing we have been getting inquiries regarding search warrants.

 Search Warrant Requirements: If a warrant only authorizes officers to search your garage, they cannot enter your home, only your garage. But, and this is important, if the warrant permits a search of your house, they may be able to search the garage. Some states define “house” to include the physical structure of your home and anything attached to it, like your garage. A detached garage, or a trailer in the back, would not be considered your house. You need to check your state law on that.

Once the police are in the proper location, they can search only for the types of evidence identified in the warrant in places within your home that the evidence could be located. For example, if the warrant says the police are permitted to search your home for anti-assault weapons, they cannot open your ring box in the back of your sock drawer. The phrase used to explain this is: the police cannot look for an elephant in a matchbox. This is the general rule. However, most search warrants are so broadly written, that the police can usually get away with looking just about anywhere. This rule also does not prohibit “plain view” sweeps. For example, if while on the way to a bedroom to look for assault rifles in your closet, the police notice a bowl of marijuana sitting on your living room table, they can seize the marijuana as contraband that is openly visible. They are not required to ignore it just because it is not identified in the warrant.