The Effective Writing of Search Warrants
This training is designed to assist officers in understanding and drafting search warrants. Although officers with all levels of experience may attend; this course is primarily intended for investigators and patrol officers new to writing search warrants, or those looking for a refresher.
Effective search warrant writing encourages officers to expand their investigative capabilities by learning to use search warrants as effective tools in a criminal investigation. This class uses simple, easy to understand approaches to explain the constitutional requirements for search warrants and affidavits, including the additional requirements that are placed upon law enforcement by State constitutions and statutes.
Officers are taught the principles of writing affidavits and warrants rather than being shown how to plug information into a blank spot in a template. Participants also learn how to relay information from informants into the affidavit while still maintaining the confidentiality of the informant’s identity. When disclosure of the informant’s identity might become an issue, Requirements for disclosure and the potential options is also discussed. Attendees will also demonstrate how to effectively develop affidavits under various facts and circumstances.
Practical exercises provide an opportunity for students to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice in group settings. Each person benefits from discussions with other members of the group while producing individual work. Participants are assisted in exercises and guided through a progressively advanced process of analysis and writing. Officers will document probable cause in a method which maximizes success in executing warrants that will withstand the scrutiny of appeal.
Students are encouraged to bring a laptop for use during the course.
- Understanding search warrant documents
- Development of probable cause
- Development of personal background to support probable cause
- Writing the search warrant – Vehicle, Dwelling, Person
- Secondary elements of the search warrant
- Amending the search warrant
- The process of getting the search warrant reviewed and signed
- Sealing the affidavit in support of the search warrant
Officers should bring a laptop as they will be writing a Search Warrant for a Dwelling, Vehicle, and Person, as well as developing a personal affidavit that is required for a search warrant.
Course Instructor: Lincoln Ryder, Detective Sergeant at Waterville, PD