1. Although the person bringing the information to the attention of the individual empowered to
authorize the search will normally be one in the execution of investigative or police duties, such need not
be the case. The information may come from one as a private individual.
2. Other than his or her own prior knowledge of facts relevant thereto, all information considered by
the individual empowered to authorize a search on the issue of probable cause must be provided under
oath or affirmation. Accordingly, before receiving the information that purports to establish the requisite
cause, the individual empowered to authorize the search will administer an oath to the person(s) providing
the information. An example of an oath is as follows:
Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) that the
information you are about to provide is true to the best of your knowledge and belief, so help you God?
(This requirement does not apply when all information considered by the individual empowered to
authorize the search, other than his or her prior personal knowledge, consists of affidavits or other
statements previously duly sworn to before another official empowered to administer oaths.)
3. The area or place to be searched must be specific, such as wall locker, wall locker and locker box,
residence, or automobile.
4. A search may be authorized only for the seizure of certain classes of items: (1) fruits of a crime
(the results of a crime such as stolen objects); (2) instrumentalities of a crime (example: search of an
automobile for a crowbar used to force entrance into a building that was burglarized);(3) contraband (items
the mere possession of which is against the law); or (4) evidence of crime (example: bloodstained clothing
of an assault suspect).
5. Before authorizing a search, probable cause must exist. This means reliable information that would
lead a reasonably prudent and cautious man or woman to a natural belief that:
a. an offense probably is about to be, or has been committed;
b. specific fruits or instrumentalities of the crime, contraband, or evidence of the crime exist; and
c. such fruits, instrumentalities, contraband, or evidence are probably in a certain place.
In arriving at the above determination it is generally permissible to rely on hearsay information,
particularly if it is reasonably corroborated or has been verified in some substantial part by other facts or
circumstances. However, unreliable hearsay cannot alone constitute probable cause, such as where the
hearsay is several times removed from its source or the information is received from an anonymous
telephone call. Hearsay information from an informant maybe considered if the information is reasonably
corroborated or has been verified in some substantial part by other facts, circumstances, or events. The
mere opinion of another that probable cause exists is not sufficient; however, along with the pertinent facts,
it may be considered in reaching the conclusion as to whether
information available does not satisfy the foregoing, an additional
information may be ordered.
or not probable cause exists. If the
investigation to produce the necessary
Figure 4-1.Record of authorization to searchContinued.