How to Know if a Search Warrant Is Real

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Look for a seal from the local, state or federal government or a law enforcement office. For example, if it is a federal warrant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the official department seal will be stamped on the warrant.

Check the warrant for elements common to search warrants. Although the rules may differ slightly by state, generally, search warrants contain the date and time of issuance, specific identify of the property to be seized, and the name or a specific description of the person or place to be searched. Additionally, the warrant will contain the time or event required for the warrant to be executed, the title of the office issuing the warrant, and a listing of the probable cause required to obtain the warrant.

Call the court where the issuing official is stationed (see Resources). Tell the court officer that you want to verify the authenticity of a search warrant being served to you.



About the Author

Nicholas Smith has written political articles for, "The Daily Californian" and other publications since 2004. He is a former commissioner with the city of Berkeley, Calif. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California-Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from St. John's University School of Law.

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