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Search Warrant

Search warrants are governed by Art. III, Sec. 2 of the Constitution which provides:

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

A search warrant is an order in writing, issued in the name of the People of the Philippine Islands, signed by a judge or a justice of the peace, and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal property and bring it before the court.

Crime should exist first. In the issuance of search warrants, the Rules of Court requires a finding of probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized.

The requisites of a valid search warrant are:
a. There must be probable cause;
b. The probable cause must be determined personally by a judge;
c. It must be issued after examination, under oath or affirmation, of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce;
d. It must particularly describe the things to be searched and seized;

The properties subject of the seizure are:
a. Subject of the offense;
b. Stolen or embezzled property and other fruits or proceeds of the offense; and
c. Property used or intended to be used as a means for the commission of an offense.

It must be noted that there are other instances when a search can be made without a warrant. These instances are:
a. When the right is voluntarily made;
b. Stop and frisk
c. Where search is incidental to a valid arrest;
d. Where the prohibited articles are in plain view;
e. Enforcement of fishing, immigration and customs law;
f. Search of moving vehicles;
g. Inspection of buildings and other premises for the enforcement of fire, sanitary and building regulations;
h. Search and seizure under exigent and emergency measures

Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines. We have criminal and trial lawyers and attorneys who can assist you on matters concerning search warrants. Our office is located at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You can e-mail us at info@ndvlaw.com or call us at +632 4706126 or +632 4706130. We invite you to visit our website www.ndvlaw.com to learn more about our legal services.