An administrative warrant is a warrant obtained from a judge by an administrative body to search for violations of administrative rules and regulations. While similar to a criminal warrant, an administrative warrant requires a lower standard of probable cause to be granted. Administrative warrants are governed by 49 USC §32707.
Administrative agencies granted enforcement powers rely on the use of administrative warrants to ensure compliance with their standards. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency may obtain an administrative warrant to investigate whether a factory is complying with waste dumping requirements. The warrant also gives the administration the authority to confiscate any contraband discovered through one of these investigations.
[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]