Search Warrants in White-Collar Cases


If federal agents show up at your office or knock on your front door with a search warrant, you are most likely under investigation for a federal offense. Official searches can be intimidating, but it's important to remember that agents are there looking for evidence, not because they have something already. It is crucial that you act fast to secure the help of an attorney to navigate the early stages of your case. Your federal criminal lawyer will aggressively fight for your rights and work to defend your innocence. The sooner you connect with a top-tier attorney, the better your chances are of receiving the best results available in your case. You can get in touch with a member of our team 24/7 via our online contact form or by phone. Contact us now for a free initial case consultation and to learn more about your legal rights and how to use them to your advantage.

How do Federal Agents Obtain a Search Warrant?

In order for a federal agent to obtain a search warrant so they can legally search your property, he or she must convince a judge that there is “probable cause” to suspect that criminal activity is occurring at your home or office or that evidence of criminal activity may be found there. The agent will present the judge with an affidavit, which is a written report that includes observations of the agents or citizens that give reason to believe that a crime has been or is being committed. If the judge deems the affidavit establishes probable cause, he or she will grant the warrant. Later in the case, if the suspect believes there was not probable cause, he or she may challenge the validity of the warrant. If agents do not have a warrant, they cannot search your property unless you give consent, which you should never do without at least contacting a lawyer first.

What Can Federal Agents Search for and Seize Under a Warrant?

Warrants are very specific and outline what the federal agents can search for while they’re in your home or office. If the warrant specifies a certain area, such as the garage, the agents cannot search the house while they’re there. Also, if the warrant specifies what they’re searching for, they cannot search for anything else. If the agents stumble upon illegal property while searching for what is specified in the warrant, they may be able to legally seize it, however. Your lawyer will work through the specifics of your case to ensure your rights have not been violated. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the better he or she can fight for your freedom. Contact Grabel & Associates today to learn more about how one of our seasoned attorneys can help in your federal case.

Warrants may also specify a certain person to be searched. Federal agents can only search the listed individual, unless they have probable cause to search another person present at the scene. Onlookers may also be detained, later questioned, and even frisked for a weapon based on reasonable suspicion.

What to Do After a Search and Seizure

After agents have visited your space, take time to think about what they may have been investigating. If there is any possibility that they could suspect you’re involved in a crime, contact a defense attorney immediately. If you already spoke with the agents while they were searching your property, write down everything you said. It also helps to record other details of the search, such as how many agents were there, what they searched, and if they seized any of your property. This information will help your lawyer build your defense, putting you one step closer to a victory.

In some situations, your lawyer can work to get your personal property back. If agents took your laptop or another electronic device, they may copy the information on the hard drive and return it to you. If they took your passport and you have international travel planned, your lawyer may be able to contact the government and work to get it back in your hands. Most of the time, you have to wait to get your property back until the case has concluded. For more information, contact Grabel & Associates.

Contact Grabel & Associates for 24/7 Criminal Defense

Our attorneys have over 15 years of experience working in Michigan cases, and our federal attorneys will do whatever it takes to ensure you receive a fair shot at justice. Call us at 1-800-342-7896 to receive a free initial case consultation and to get connected with an experienced attorney or contact us online.