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  • Search, Seizure, and Search Warrants


The student will develop an understanding of general search and seizure requirements as well as obtain the ability to author a sound search warrant. Emphasis is placed on general criminal investigations including vehicle searches, narcotics seizures and warrantless searches as well as authoring search warrants specific to body intrusions, digital devices (cell phones/computers/social media) and special circumstances. The course will allow patrol Officers and Investigators to write search warrants based upon scenarios and participate in practical exercises inclusive of all phases of the search warrant process.

Course Outline

Course Objective

The student will develop a better understanding of general search and seizure requirements as well as obtain the ability to author a sound search warrant by understanding each of the following topic areas.

Course Details

  • Course Overview
  • Instructor and student introductions
  • Legal requirements for a search
  • 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • Warrantless Searches
  • Motor Vehicle Searches
  • Search and Seizure – Bodily Intrusion
  • California Penal Code 1546 (CalECPA)
  • Searches of digital devices
  • Search Warrant terminology
  • CA PC 1523-1529
  • Components of a Search Warrant A. Search Warrant
  • Search Warrant Returns
  • Locations and Items to be searched and legal descriptions
  • Items to be searched for – CAPC152
  • Appropriate Language to Request Items
  • Common Errors
  • Overbroad search warrants leading to it being invalid
  • Special Circumstances – Hobbs
  • General Seal orders
  • Special Masters
  • Anticipatory Search Warrants and Other Uses
  • Presenting a Search Warrant to a Judge
  • Physical “paper” search warrant
  • Electronically submitted search warrant
  • Telephonic search warrant
  • Service of a Search Warrant
  • Developing an operations plan
  • Warrants to be used through Patrol Investigations
  • Ramey Warrants
  • Steagald Warrants
  • Cellular Telephone Records
  • Active Geo/Locate Pings
  • Practical exercises
  • Students will be provided scenarios which they will complete a search warrant
  • Student search warrants will be discussed with class
  • I highly recommend this training for any Probation staff who have the necessity to interview/interrogate individuals for investigation purposes.

    —R. Bret Fidler, Santa Clara County Probation Department
  • This was, by far, one of the most useful classes I've attended since becoming an investigator.

    —Steven Aiello, Antioch Police Department
  • You two are an effective teaching team, and your presentation of the material was consistently interesting, and intelligent without being too intellectualized.

    —Michele Keller, Deputy Probation Officer, County of Alameda
  • Your class gave me the confidence and tools to interview the suspect for over 5 hours and to bring a closure to the case.

    —Daniel Phelan, San Jose Police Department
  • I will continue to use and pass on this information because I really believe in the instructors and their approach.

    —Kimberly Meyer, Washoe County Sheriff's Department
  • Your instructional style is engaging and your tag-team style is highly effective.

    —George Laing, Fire Prevention Captain, Investigator
  • Your class has made the greatest and most direct impact on my assignment of any training class that I've taken.

    —Ken Gelskey, National City Police Department
  • ...Provides useful tools necessary for assessing the veracity of a suspected child abuser, which goes a long way in helping to protect children.

    —Sunny Burgan, MSSW, LCSW, Social Work Supervisor, Santa Clara County DFCS
  • The information that they have presented is highly relevant to my job, and was presented in a manner that was highly organized and very easy to digest.

    —Michael McGarvey, California State Prison, San Quentin
  • Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to attend the Interview and Interrogation training presented by Paul Francois and Enrique Garcia.

    —Todd Almason, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office