Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Question about Search Warrants

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,797

    Question about Search Warrants

    On another site someone said something and I'm wondering if it's true but I don't know where to start to find out. Specifically they said that if your gun safe is bolted down to your house then the cops can check it with a search warrant, but if it isn't bolted down then it takes a seperate search warrant to be able to check it. Is this true and where would I even start looking to find out about this?

    EDIT: Oh and before someone says it, no I wouldn't start by asking the cops. I don't expect them to actually know the answer or where I could find it and I would expect most cops to say what is best for them and not what my actual rights are.
    Last edited by Aknazer; 01-21-2012 at 10:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Herr Heckler Koch
    Guest
    Prolly depends on YOUR state law. Generally the precise locations must be specified in the warrant. Only the law abiding abide the law. "You may beat the rap but you won't beat the ride."

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    On another site someone said something and I'm wondering if it's true but I don't know where to start to find out. Specifically they said that if your gun safe is bolted down to your house then the cops can check it with a search warrant, but if it isn't bolted down then it takes a seperate search warrant to be able to check it. Is this true and where would I even start looking to find out about this?
    If they have a search warrant for your house, they can pretty much search anywhere they please on your property and in any container. Even if they don't have the specific right, they are likely to do it and make you fight the search results in court.

    That's the way it happens in Nebraska, anyway.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Leeds, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    786
    I have no idea if it's true, but I can see the legal argument. If the safe isn't bolted down, they can take it with them on the assumption that it could contain whatever they're looking for. They would usually need a separate warrant to search it, but taking it with them would normally be covered by the original warrant. If the safe were bolted down the argument could be made that it had to be opened to satisfy the original warrant, because it could contain what they're looking for but couldn't reasonably take it with them.

    Once again, no idea if this is true.
    Last edited by Brimstone Baritone; 03-09-2012 at 08:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    208
    In North Carolina at least, search warrants are specific to what you're looking for rather than where in the location you're looking for it. The location must be specified as well, but if the location is a house it can be as broad as "The residence at #### East Street". So, in your hypothetical instance, if the object of the search warrant (illegal narcotics, say) could reasonably be located inside a gun safe, then the search warrant allows searching inside that gun safe regardless of whether it was bolted down or not.
    Last edited by Kivuli; 03-10-2012 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Clarification
    The Dogs of War are nothing compared to the Cats

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    300
    Quote Originally Posted by Kivuli View Post
    In North Carolina at least, search warrants are specific to what you're looking for rather than where in the location you're looking for it. The location must be specified as well, but if the location is a house it can be as broad as "The residence at #### East Street". So, in your hypothetical instance, if the object of the search warrant (illegal narcotics, say) could reasonably be located inside a gun safe, then the search warrant allows searching inside that gun safe regardless of whether it was bolted down or not.
    ^^^ This^^^ As long as the container i.e. drawer, box, closet, gun safe could reasonably contain the "illegal" thing or evidence described in the warrant and is located on the property listed in the warrant, they can search it. If they are looking for the nuclear weapons you stole, they can't look in yer jewelry box cause there is no way in hell you could hide a nuke in there.

  7. #7
    Regular Member William Fisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Oxford, Ohio
    Posts
    238
    Wouldn't the 5th offer some protection being they would need the combination to open a safe?

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    208
    No, because the act of providing access to something is not the same as giving a statement that will incriminate you. The search warrant already gives constitutional authority to search said safe. If you choose not to provide the combination, whomever is doing the searching has the authority to make entry by other means if the safe is a place where the contraband in question could reasonably be located.
    The Dogs of War are nothing compared to the Cats

  9. #9
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northern Piedmont of Virginia
    Posts
    2,373
    The "closed container rule" has nothing to do with whether the safe is bolted down. That has to do with whether it becomes a "fixture" and thus part of the real estate, or whether it remains mere personal property. For search and seizure purposes, neither of those ideas makes any difference; if the warrant is "general" (e.g., "go to 10312 Cleveland Street and search therein for tangible personal property evidencing the crime of homicide of Joe Blow, and return with such evidence intact"), then they can open anything they want to in any container. In Virginia, general warrants are illegal (though judges still issue them), as are "no-knock warrants" (though judges still issue them), and a "special warrant" (one that states specifically what is to be searched and for what items of evidence) will have to state specifically that a specific container is to be opened and its contents searched. Depends on the laws of your state and the intellectual honesty of your judges.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •