If you are the subject of a federal criminal investigation, the officers on your case will likely use search warrants to find evidence against you. When faced with a search warrant in an Omaha federal criminal investigation, you should be aware of your rights and the officers’ responsibilities under the law.
Our experienced federal investigations lawyers can help you understand the laws governing search warrants and challenge the validity of a search if necessary. Reach out to the legal team at Berry Law to learn more.
Who Can Obtain a Search Warrant in a Federal Investigation?
There are several federal entities that can seek out a search warrant during an investigation. Common examples include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The government can also create a special task force for a specific case. Additionally, the prosecuting attorney on your case can request a search warrant. You shouldn’t overlook anyone who may be involved in your case because all federal investigative entities have the right to seek a search warrant.
Requirements to Obtain a Search Warrant in Omaha
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. This means the federal officers investigating an alleged crime must have probable cause established through an affidavit, sworn testimony, or both to obtain a search warrant.
A judge or magistrate will review the evidence and decide whether to endorse the warrant. After the judge signs off, the search warrant will be served on the appropriate parties.
The laws governing how to serve a warrant can vary depending on what type of crime is being investigated. For example, a white collar criminal investigation may be treated differently than an investigation for a sex crime. If you suspect a federal investigator obtained a search warrant illegally or violated federal law when serving you with the paperwork, you should seek legal counsel immediately. If you successfully challenge the validity of a warrant, any evidence found during the search will be inadmissible in court.
The Unexpected Nature of Federal Searches
You may be given advance notice of a search, but you should not count on it. It is common for law enforcement officers to knock on a suspect’s door unexpectedly, state that they have a warrant, and immediately begin searching the premises.
It is also important to note that searches don’t always take place at someone’s home. Federal investigators can search a variety of locations, including:
- Storage facilities
- Private lockers
- Office buildings
- Plots of land
Any place supported by probable cause can be the target of a search warrant in a federal criminal investigation.
What to Do During a Search
Once law enforcement has arrived for a search, there is not much you can do in the moment. The best thing you can do is exercise your right to remain silent and call your lawyer after the officers leave.
A Lawyer Can Help You Deal with Search Warrants in Omaha Federal Criminal Investigations
If federal agents recently executed a search warrant against you, do your best to stay calm. A lawyer can help you examine the circumstances surrounding the search and determine whether you can challenge the validity of the warrant. If you have any questions about search warrants in Omaha federal criminal investigations, contact Berry Law for a confidential consultation.