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Old 12-27-2011, 10:15 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 13,430
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
The OP does not sound like it was a case of a search warrant but probably an arrest warrant. The legality of entering into a structure to find a suspect will vary widely due to the circumstances and from state to state. Officers probably wouldn't have a paper copy of an arrest warrant with them.

In the case of a search warrant there is really no need to not present a copy. I'm trying to remember if there is any case law where you MUST be presented with a copy prior to the search. You absolutely will get a copy at some point. It won't be on a computer. It will be a pretty extensive packet which must be signed by a judge. I can see some exigent circumstances when an officer may need to start a search after receiving word from someone that the warrant has been approved but before he has a copy. Faking a warrant makes no sense because you just destroyed your case.
In fact, on L&O there is the occasional bit where the cops are on their way to a location when the prosecutor phones them and says "OK, I have the signed warrant". SO presumably presenting the warrant or even holding the signed is not ncessary, but it must be authorized by a judge before the search is executed.

The other proviso is that the searchers better be sure of the scope of contents before executing it. If they search the wrong places or find something not covered by the warrant, then the evidence is excluded and the officers and city/state are open to any liability.