Course detail: Search Warrants Application and Affidavits

Course Description: 

Search warrants are a vital tool in law enforcement officers' quest to uncover criminal activity and the perpetrators thereof. A search warrant can provide officers with the legal authority to search residences and places of business, obtain samples of DNA or bodily fluids for examination, and records from businesses such as cellular telephone companies and social media companies. Because of the intrusive nature of these and other similar searches, the law demands that officers present courts with sufficient information before courts will authorize the issuance of a search warrant. This course will teach participants the legal requirements that must be satisfied before a search warrant will be issued and how they can satisfy these requirements with their application and supporting affidavit. In addition to search warrants for homes, businesses, and multi-unit residences, attention will also be given to obtaining records from cellular service providers and social media companies.

Core Competency: 

Participants will employ best practices as they investigate any crime from its beginning to its eventual disposition; either as an individual, or as part of an investigatory team.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will be able to:
  • Describe the differences between writing a report or narrative and writing an affidavit
  • List the legal requirements necessary to obtain a search warrant
  • Articulate probable cause to a court in writing
  • Understand the need to "describe with particularity" the place to be searched and the evidence sought and demonstrate how to do this
  • Organize information in an affidavit regarding completed or ongoing investigations
Instructional Methods:
  • Lecture and guided discussions
  • Written and critiqued exercises
Who Should Attend:
  • Sworn and paid public safety officers
  • Volunteer law enforcement auxiliary members
  • Investigators
  • Others responsible for assisting in the investigation of criminal activity.
Course Requirements:
  • 100% participation and attendance

Available sessions