Q:

How do you verify the authenticity of a police warrant?

A:

Quick Answer

A valid warrant should correctly indicate the address of the premises that the police intend to search, explains the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If the warrant is for an arrest, it should correctly indicate the name of the arrestee. A legitimate warrant should also list any items that the police seize in the course of executing it, show the deadline by which the police should implement an arrest or execute a search, and bear a judge's signature.

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Full Answer

Before attempting forceful ingress, law enforcement officials should first knock and announce their entry, states the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They should have with them the warrant they intend to execute, and in most cases, must serve it during the day. They should also allow the targets of warrants to verify the authenticity of these documents.

In addition, law enforcement officials do not serve warrants by fax or email, but in person, reports US Courts.gov. They also do not demand money or other forms of compensation, in person or by other means, to void the arrests that warrants demand.

Recipients who suspect that the people delivering the warrants may not be actual officers should first call 911 before allowing them to enter, advises FindLaw. Legitimate law enforcement should have uniforms, utility belts and other articles of clothing or equipment that such officials typically bear. Aged police vehicles that seem to be in poor working condition are another sign that the people in question may not be legitimate officers.

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