An anticipatory warrant is a type of search warrant. The main difference is that anticipatory warrants are made in anticipation of a crime. They are based on the fact that evidence of a crime will occur at a certain time in place in the future.
For example, a crime may not be committed or no evidence may exist until criminal A buys and brings drugs into his home. If the police know when and where criminal A will buy and bring those drugs, they can ask a Judge to issue them an anticipatory warrant. This will allow the police to search criminal A's home immediately after he brings the drugs home, instead of waiting for a normal search warrant. If properly ordered, an anticipatory warrant will not violate the 4th Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
As mentioned above, a law enforcement officer will go to a Judge with an affidavit to get an anticipatory warrant. In that affidavit, the law enforcement officer must show some evidence to establish:
Probable cause is generally a fair probability that the crime, evidence, or triggering condition will be found at the particular place at that time. Each anticipatory warrant also has to have a triggering condition. Using the example above, the triggering condition would be when criminal A bought drugs and brought them home. The affidavit does not have to say that the crime or evidence is currently present when the law enforcement officer asks a Judge to order an anticipatory warrant.
In addition to what is contained in the law enforcement officer's affidavit, a Judge who orders an anticipatory warrant will also have to decide that:
If your home or property was searched based on an anticipatory warrant, and you think that the police had no basis for their search, it is highly recommended that you contact a criminal defense attorney. Only an attorney will be able to explain the issues, help in your defense, and assist in suppressing any evidence that was illegally obtained.
Last Modified: 06-10-2015 03:18 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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