What Should I Know About Phoenix Search Warrants?

As Phoenix criminal defense attorneys, we get a lot of questions about search warrants in Arizona and how they work. This confusion is not at all surprising; there is much to understand about search warrants and what constitutes an illegal search during a Phoenix arrest.

When Is a Search Warrant NOT Required?

Not every search requires a warrant in Arizona. In the following cases, for example, police may be able to conduct a search without a warrant:

  • You give consent to the search.
  • An item is in plain view.
  • The evidence could be destroyed before a warrant is obtained.
  • A police officer is concerned for safety during a "pat down."
  • An officer has "probable cause," which is often seen in vehicle searches for Tempe DUI or traffic cases.
  • Any search that is incident to an arrest.


How Do Police Obtain an Arizona Search Warrant?

If police suspect you have committed a crime in Phoenix and feel a search is necessary, then they will attempt to obtain a search warrant. This may apply to your vehicle, your home, your place of employment, or just about anywhere you could store evidence.

The police must submit a request to the court that states:

  • Why the police feel a search will be necessary
  • What kind of evidence they are looking for

It is also important to note that the warrant, if issued, should state what officers are allowed to look for and where. Essentially, a search warrant should not grant police unlimited access to search you or your property; they need to stay within in the limitations of the warrant.

If you are a suspect in a Phoenix crime and have questions about search warrants and your rights, speak with a dedicated Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today at 1-888-929-5292. To learn more about how we can help, take a look at our FREE book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know.