What Are the Different Types of Warrants?

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Different types of warrants include no-knock warrants, anticipatory warrants, nighttime warrants, seizure warrants and warrants requiring a knock-and-announce provision, according to Cornell University Law School. Officers must show probable cause to a judge before obtaining any kind of warrant.

Cornell University Law School notes that knock-based warrants stipulate that officers must knock on a door and identify themselves before entering a residence. They are not allowed to force their way inside, but forced entry is permitted if the occupant does not answer the door within an established time frame. Police can obtain a no-knock warrant if they can prove that such a circumstance calls for it. For example, a no-knock is appropriate if an inhabitant has a chance to destroy evidence when the police arrive, and this type of warrant is normally granted in drug cases.

Cornell University Law School adds that anticipatory warrants are issued when probable cause is necessary at a future date, and the warrant becomes valid at a specified time. Seizure warrants are reserved for confiscating materials or stored data. This warrant also allows officers to place tracking devices on property or a person. Nighttime warrants are reserved for the evening, but jurisdictions have different meanings for this warrant. For instance, federal law states that the appropriate time to commence a nighttime warrant is between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. However, exceptions typically apply in cases involving drug offenses.