Articles Posted in Search Warrants

Were you arrested based on items found pursuant to a search warrant?  Is so, the recent case of Hill v. State shows how your lawyer may be able to obtain and then review the affidavit underlying the warrant for errors and constitutional infirmities.  If such defects exist, your lawyer may be able to invalidate your warrant and have your case dismissed.

In Hill, the police obtained a warrant to search Hill’s former girlfriend’s residence where she lived with their children. Hill frequently stayed at the residence. The judge later sealed the affidavit that was submitted to get the warrant issued.

Law enforcement subsequently executed the warrant at the residence. Hill was present. The search yielded large quantities of cannabis and cocaine, drug paraphernalia, two loaded firearms, and $3,800 in cash. Continue reading

You may have heard you can win your case if the evidence against you was obtained based on an invalid search warrant.  But, as a recent case demonstrates, that’s not always true.

In State v. Smith, Mr. Smith was charged with multiple drug offenses and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The evidence was acquired from a search of Smith’s property pursuant to a warrant based on his former girlfriend’s allegations he possessed illegal drugs and firearms.

Smith subsequently filed a motion to suppress challenging the sufficiency of the search warrant affidavit. The same judge who had approved the warrant concluded she should not have signed the warrant in the first place. The judge reasoned because the affiant was a disgruntled ex-girlfriend, independent corroborating evidence was required to establish probable cause.  The judge also rejected the State’s alternative argument the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule rendered the evidence admissible even if the search warrant lacked probable cause.  Smith’s motion to suppress was granted, meaning the State would not be able to use the evidence obtained during the search of his home and would therefore have to drop his case.  The State then appealed. Continue reading

Were drugs, illegal firearms or other contraband discovered during a warrant-based search of your home?  No matter what the police found, you may be able to get your case dropped.

Searches based on warrants are preferred over warrantless searches by the courts.  That’s because the grounds for the warrant are first reviewed by a judge before the warrant is issued.  That review makes it more likely any search of your home does not violate your Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches than if the police proceed with a warrantless search.

But just because the police searched your home pursuant to a warrant doesn’t guarantee they can use all of the evidence obtained in that search to convict you of a crime.  A recent case decided just this month explains why. Continue reading

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