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What is a warrant? | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

A warrant is a document that authorizes the government to do certain things.  Sometimes a warrant authorizes entry into a closed space such as a house or building.  Other warrants authorize the search of a device such a computer or cellular phone.  Some warrants are issued to secure the arrest of someone who has violated the law.

Warrants contain affidavits from a law enforcement officer who swears to a specific set of facts.  These facts must have probable cause before a judge will sign.  For a finding of probable cause, the judge must have a reasonable belief that a crime has or is being committed.  It does not take a lot of evidence for a judge to find probable cause.  It should be noted that this legal standard is MUCH lower than a jury must find to convict, which is: evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Information Center:

Levels of proof chart: The following chart is helpful in explaining the levels of proof.