A search warrant is a document issued by a judge that allows police to enter a particular area to search for evidence of a crime. Generally, the police are not permitted to enter a premises without the consent of the owner unless they have a valid search warrant.
Challenging the Validity of Search Warrants: was the Search Legal?
It is important to note that the existence of a search warrant does not automatically make a police search legal. Search warrants have very specific requirements. If these requirements are not met, the warrant may not be valid. If you have been subjected to a search, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal lawyer who can assist you in challenging the validity of the search warrant used in your case.
As a large criminal law firm whose lawyers have a solid track record of successfully challenging search warrants, Hicks Adams can bring its considerable resources and specialized knowledge to bear upon challenging any search warrant that has been issued against you.
Some of the most common ways to challenge the validity of a search warrant include:
- Challenging the accuracy of the information the police presented to the judge in order to obtain the search warrant;
- Challenging whether the police had “reasonable and probable grounds” to believe they would find evidence of a crime at the premises in question; and
- Challenging the accuracy of the information set out in the search warrant.
What if the Search Warrant is Valid?
Even where a search warrant is deemed to be valid, there is still an opportunity to challenge the way in which the search was conducted. If the police exceeded the scope of the warrant or conducted the search in an unreasonable manner, any evidence gathered as a result of the search should not be admissible at trial.
For example, police must justify the execution of a search warrant at night. Night-time entries are supposed to be exceptions to the rule and not the norm. The lawyers at Hicks Adams have successfully challenged many search warrants on the basis that entry at night was not justified.
The lawyers at Hicks Adams will fearlessly challenge the actions of the police and use any breaches of the search warrant or police procedure to argue that you have been the subject of an unreasonable search and that, consequently, any evidence seized during the search should be inadmissible at trial.
Contact Hicks Adams for a Free Criminal Defence Consultation
Our Toronto criminal defence lawyers have extensive experience successfully challenging search warrants. The lawyers at Hicks Adams have the resources and know-how to vigorously defend your rights. Call us at 416-975-1700 or send us an email for a free consultation.