Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–524. Execution of search warrants.

(a) An officer executing a warrant directing a search of a dwelling house or other building or a vehicle shall execute such warrant in accordance with section 3109 of Title 18, United States Code.

(b) An officer executing a warrant directing a search of a person shall give, or make reasonable effort to give, notice of his identity and purpose to the person, and, if such person thereafter resists or refuses to permit the search, such person shall be subject to arrest by such officer pursuant to section 23-581(a) for violation of section 432 of the Revised Statutes of the United States relating to the District of Columbia (D.C. Official Code, sec. 22-405) (resisting a police officer) or other applicable provision of law.

(c)(1) An officer or agent executing a search warrant shall write and subscribe an inventory setting forth the time of the execution of the search warrant and the property seized under it.

(2) If the search is of a person, a copy of the warrant and of the return shall be given to that person.

(3) If the search is of a place, vehicle, or object, a copy of the warrant and of the return shall be given to the owner thereof if he is present, or if he is not, to an occupant, custodian, or other person present; or if no person is present, the officer shall post a copy of the warrant and of the return upon the premises, vehicle, or object searched.

(d) A copy of the warrant shall be filed with the court whose judge or magistrate authorized its issuance on the next court day after its execution, together with a copy of the return.

(e) An officer or agent executing a search warrant may seize any property discovered in the course of the lawful execution of such warrant if he has probable cause to believe that such property is subject to seizure under section 23-521(d), even if the property is not enumerated in the warrant or the application therefor, and no additional warrant shall be required to authorize such seizure, if the property is fully set forth in the return. Such seizure may include taking physical or other impressions or performing chemical, scientific, or other tests or experiments.

(f) An officer or agent executing a search warrant may take photographs and measurements during the execution.

(g) An officer executing a warrant directing a search of premises or a vehicle may search any person therein (1) to the extent reasonably necessary to protect himself or others from the use of any weapon which may be concealed upon the person, or (2) to the extent reasonably necessary to find property enumerated in the warrant which may be concealed upon the person.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 615, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a); Oct. 26, 1974, 88 Stat. 1456, Pub. L. 93-481, § 4(d).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-524.

1973 Ed., § 23-524.

Cross References

Execution of warrants by police force, see § 5-127.05.

Search warrants in narcotic drug cases, see § 48-902.04.