Search warrantA search warrant is a written warrant issued by a judge which authorizes the police to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a criminal offense.
Under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, most searches by the police require a search warrant. In order to obtain one, an officer must first prove that probable cause exists, although this can be based on hearsay evidence and can even be obtained by oral testimony given over a telephone. Both property and persons can be seized under a search warrant. Under the Fourth Amendment searches must be reasonable and specific.