Search Warrant, * crim. law, practice. A warrant (q. v.) requiring the officer to whom it is addressed, to search a house or other place therein specified, for property therein alleged to have been stolen; and if the same shall be found upon such search, to bring the goods so found, together with the body of the person occupying the same, who is named, before the justice or other officer granting the warrant, or some other justice of the peace, or other lawfully authorized officer. It should be given under the hand and seal of the justice, and dated.

2. The constitution of the United States, amendments, art. 4, declares that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized."

3. Lord Hale, 2 P. C. 149, 150, recommends great caution in granting such warrants. 1. That they be, not granted without oath made before a justice of a felony committed, and that the complainant has probable cause to suspect they are in such a house or place, and his reasons for such suspicion. 2. That such warrants express that the search shall be made in day time. 3. That they ought to be directed to a constable or other proper officer, and not to a private person. 4. A search warrant ought to command the officer to bring the stolen goods and the person in whose custody they are, before some justice of the peace. Vide 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 57, 64; 4 Inst. 176; Hawk. B. 2, c. 13, s. 17, n. 6; 11 St. Tr; 321; 2 Wils. 149, 291; Burn's Just. h. t.; Williams' Just. h. t.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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