Public Comments for: HB736 - Search warrants; execution.
Last Name: Segal Organization: Hanover County Sheriff's Office Locality: Hanover County

House Bills 660 and 736 These bills are supported and are less limiting for law enforcement when serving search warrants. Unless certain elements exist under the present law, the fruits of criminal behavior are safely kept by offenders. There should not be "time out" zones for perpetrators to harbor guns, drugs and paraphernalia.

Last Name: DeBoard Organization: Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) Locality: Herndon, VA

Regarding HB 736 and HB 660, the VACP supports amendments to the current search warrant bill regarding the hours when search warrants are permissible. We are not calling for a wholesale repeal of the current statute, but are urging consideration to change the service hours to 6 am-10 pm. This change would bring the state's search warrant statute in alignment with Federal guidelines for when search warrants may be served without a judge or magistrate's approval. The Federal rule is listed below for reference. The impact of the current statute is creating operational challenges regarding the investigation of certain types of crimes such as Internet Crimes Against Children. Legal issues have also recently surfaced regarding the conflict for local and state detectives serving on federal task forces when warrants are executed. An extension of the hours is also in line with when the majority of people are still awake but would provide law enforcement more flexibility in conducting effective investigations and serving warrants when they deem it is safer to do so. Federal Rule 41. Search and Seizure (2) Definitions. The following definitions apply under this rule: (A) “Property” includes documents, books, papers, any other tangible objects, and information. (B) “Daytime” means the hours between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. according to local time. (C) “Federal law enforcement officer” means a government agent (other than an attorney for the government) who is engaged in enforcing the criminal laws and is within any category of officers authorized by the Attorney General to request a search warrant.

End of Comments