Is it an illegal raid if the search warrant has a different address on it? 69 Answers as of July 02, 2013

The search warrant has a different address from the property searched.

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
To answer your question requires a thorough review of your file and the applicable case-law. If you need that type of specific legal advice, you should consult privately with an attorney. Speaking generally, issues with the search warrant would need to be addressed through a timely filed and researched motion to suppress. The court would set the matter for a hearing. If the court concludes that the evidence was obtained from an illegal search, the evidence will be suppressed. However, whether the search itself was legal depends on a litany of factors. There is a lot of case-law because these issues are frequently argued up through the court-levels (appeals, etc.) Because you are potentially giving the police a chance to testify in a hearing, any motion like this needs to be part of a coherent trial strategy and should only be undertaken if you understand the potential consequences. Occasionally, filing these motions actually helps a prosecutor's case because they generally point to some weaker issue with their proofs. Further, there is never a guarantee that the judge will grant the motion. The prosecutor then has an opportunity to strengthen these issues prior to a trial. I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to assist you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/4/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Does the description of the property match or is it different. I would have to see the search warrant and get more detail. They may either have made a mistake and raided the wrong property or it was a typo and they raided the right property but with the wrong address typed in.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/3/2012
Burdon and Merlitti
Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
It's a very fact-specific question that you should speak directly to an attorney about. If the search was executed as the result of an honest mistake (which does happen), then as a general rule, the police can be excused for their negligence. However, if the police purposely searched the wrong residence, or if they were reckless in how they searched the wrong house, then they may be held liable for violating the individual's constitutional rights.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 1/3/2012
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
It may be illegal, but I would need all the details.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/30/2011
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
I would say this was an illegal search, if the address was worng on the search warrant. Consult with an attorney to relate all the facts, and he will be able to determine if the proper motions to suppress should be filed in court, to get the case dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The search warrant may be invalid if the address of the search is wrong. Your attorney should evaluate whether to challenge the search.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 12/27/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If the warrant does not, in fact, authorize the search of a particular party this may well make the search illegal or make evidence inadmissible at trial. This is an issue that needs to be reviewed by an attorney in your jurisdiction who is informed of the relevant facts.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Absolutely. The government can only enter your home if there is a valid warrant or consent. The warrant must specifically state the address and area to be searched.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    It might be depends on how the search warrant reads.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You attorney can run a suppression hearing to try to suppress the evidence seized pursuant to an invalid warrant. If the address is incorrect the judge will probably not allow the evidence to be admissible at trial, even if they found the proper house or apartment by the description on the warrant or by going to several locations.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    This is a tough question. If the error was merely typographical, the court will probably overlook it. However, if they searched a completely different property than the one they intended to, that search is more likely to be thrown out. I should caution you, however, that Fourth Amendment law is very complex, and it is difficult to be sure what the answer is.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    It depends, was the address way off, or just a missed number of misspelled street name, etc. It also depends on the description of the location. Generally speaking, if the address is wrong, there is cause for concern and you should hire a lawyer asap.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    A search warrant is only valid for the address on the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Keyser Law Firm
    Keyser Law Firm | Christopher W. Keyser
    Yes. If the police search a home without a search warrant, any incriminating evidence found at the erroneous location may be suppressed. The only exception to this is if the police were acting under an "emergency" such as a suspect running into a residence to which the police have no warrant. Another possible exception is if the police see some clearly illegal activity within plain view, such as through an open window. If you were charged with an offense based off a warrantless search and seizure, I recommend contacting a defense attorney to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    DeVito & Visconti, PA
    DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
    One of the central inquiries for a judge or magistrate to consider in issuing a search warrant is whether the items sought, relative to the criminal activity, can be found in the place to be searched. If the police have provided an incorrect address, the general rule is that the search is illegal and any evidence seized from that search shall be suppressed and not admitted at trial. The fact that the wrong address is indicated on the search warrant may notalways mean that the search is illegal. If the description of the property is sufficiently clear in the warrant (it cannot be confused with any other property), the court may find that the warrant adequately identified the property to be searched and any evidence found can be used to trial. Your question is facts specific. An attorney will have to look at all the facts and details relative to the search warrant to determine whether or not the search was illegal.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    Unless the defect is amendable, the warrant would not be valid. A warrant must particularly describe the places to be searched and the things to be seized.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Harvath Law Offices | Michael T. Harvath
    In order for a police search to be valid, and for evidence obtained from the search to be admissible in court, the search must be conducted pursuant to aproperly obtained and executed search warrant. If it can be established that the search took placeat a property other than the one listed on the warrant,an attorney could present the legal argument that the warrant was not properly executed. If the argument prevails, the evidence obtainedduring the search would not be admissible in court and an attorney may be able to get thecharges dismissed. The facts, as in most legal matters, are critically important, and more detail regarding how the search was executed would have to be known to make a more definitive conclusion.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    Not necessarily if the officers were acting in good faith. As. With any search warrant, the law is very technical, and whether or not a warrant will be upheld os dependent on the facts of the case. There are, of course, times when searching the wrong address will be held to be invalid. But on the simple fact that the address was wrong, without more, will probably not be enough to invalidate the warrant and the resulting search. You should run the entire situation by a criminal defense attorney to get a detailed analysis.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco
    The Law Offices of Victor J Mazzaraco | Victor J Mazzaraco
    Not necessarily - there are exceptions and not enough specific info provided to answer definitively.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Orent Law Offices, PLC
    Orent Law Offices, PLC | Craig Orent
    If you have an attorney, you should ask him/her the question. But the answer to the question is not so simple as to be answered in this format. The answer depends on a number of factors which are fact specific. The main point is that when that type of "mistake" happens, an issue certainly exists that your attorney needs to explore. However, the "mistake" does not necessarily by itself result in suppression of evidence and case dismissal. There are additional questions of "reasonableness," and what did the officers know, or what should they have known etc.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Jon M. Martinez Criminal Law Group | Jon M. Martinez
    Having a search warrant for a different address could very well be considered an illegal search. There would also be a number of different factors that would come into play as well to determine if you are able to suppress the evidence that may have been seized during the search. For example, if it appears as though the search warrant matched every aspect of the home that was searched except that there was a mistake on the address, it could be considered harmless error and a judge may allow the evidence in. An example of this would be if the search warrant had the description of the home correct, the occupants and other things that would point to your home as being the correct one searched, the evidence may still be allowed in. However, if it appears as though the wrong house were searched completely, then you will stand a much better chance to get the evidence suppressed. Regardless, you will need an attorney to look into every aspect of your case, including the search warrant, in order to put you in the best position possible. Even if the chances of getting the evidence suppressed were slim because of the factors listed above, it is still something worth fighting. Perhaps it would lead to a suppression of the evidence and your case being dismissed completely or a better plea offer from the prosecutor in negotiations.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    I would certainly file a motion to quash. If the address is wrong, and there is other information that adequately describes the location the judge may affirm the subpoena, but if not it may be suppressed. That is not one I would just let go. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. That could be a problem.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    If it is one number off or something excusable maybe not; but if it is a completely different address, then they are likely holding an invalid warrant, and the evidence should be suppressed.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    It could very well be illegal. The warrant must be specific as to the location searched. Have your attorney file a l538.5 motion and a motion to quash the search warrant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    Yes, that is illegal. The question is why and how far off it is. I have seen Courts excuse the error where it is a technical defect, such as a warrant that describes the building raided in terms of color, owner, number of bedrooms, layout, inside details, etc. but mistakenly has the address of the other half of a twin, stating that even though the face sheet contained the wrong address the affidavit sufficiently described the premises to be searched. You should hire a good lawyer to look into this.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC | Thaddeus Furlong, Esq.
    Wrong warrant location may invalidate the search.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/20/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    The warrant is defective if the search is for a different address than the address intended to be searched; however, the courts have created a rule that if the cops acted in good faith in executing the warrant, such as the wrong address on the warrant was due to a typo and the place searched was the intended location, the search may be valid.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
    The search warrant is not valid if does not have the correct address of location searched.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes, it may be an illegal search if the property searched was not that listed in the search warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    The Fourth Amendment generally requires that a search warrant "particularly describe" the place to be searched. Retain a criminal defense attorney ASAP!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    You need to consult with an experienced, local Criminal Defense Attorney about the specifics of the case, but in general, a warrant must detail with specificity the location to be searched, as that is part of what a Judge uses to determine if there is cause to issue the warrant. If the police request a warrant to search one location, but search a different location,then the Affidavit in Support of the Warrant from the officer was pointless, because he was not searching the location of which he informed the Court and where, allegedly, there will be evidence of crime. In such a case, a Motion to Traverse/Quash the Warrant, with a Motion to Suppress Evidence (Penal Code section 1538.5) would be appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes, the search is illegal for any address other than the one on the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    It could make all the difference in a motion to suppress whatever was seized by the police from being used by the prosecutor at the trial.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    The search warrant must specify the address to be searched. If the search is conducted at a different address, it may be an illegal search. You should consult with an attorney about your specific circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It very well could be. Warrants are only good for the people, address, and property that are listed on them. There are some good faith mistakes that the courts will forgive by the police but that depends on the facts of the case. Have an attorney review the warrant and the case file to determine if the raid was valid or not.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    A defect in a warrant can lead to suppression of evidence found as a result of that warrant. This will need to be reviewed by your attorney and an appropriate Motion To Suppress should be brought. This would include suppression of not only the evidence directly found, but that evidence which is a result of information found as a result of the defective warrant. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    In order to be correctly executed, a search warrant's information, address, time, etc. should be accurate and correct. If a search is done of an address not on the warrant, then any evidence found should be suppressed due to an illegal search and violation of the 4th Amendment.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    That may certainly afford a challenge to the search that occurred if it can be shown that he officer's error was not reasonable. If the search is deemed to be unlawful, any evidence adduced from that warrant and the search may be suppressed in court.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker | Steven Decker
    A wrong address on a warrant will probably result in the search being quashed. There are exceptions , but the state will be limited in finding an excuse.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Possibly. Sometimes typographical errors will be overlooked by the judge, but if they weren't even close, then there may be an issue. For example, if they list the house to be searched as 1234 Main Street on the face page of the warrant, but list it correctly as 1243 Main Street everywhere else, then it may be overlooked. If, however, they searched the wrong house (and they should include a description of the house in the warrant as well), then the search is likely to be seen as unlawful. Search issues are very fact specific though - change one thing and it could change the entire answer. Your lawyer is going to have to review everything connected to this case - the warrant, affidavits and reports.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    Yes it would be an illegal search if they conducted their search on the wrong residence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Aaron M. Goldsmith, PC | Aaron M. Goldsmith
    Search warrants must specifically articulate the address to be searched, and the kinds of materials the police are permitted to take. If the warrant has a different address than the property searched, then any materials seized are improper, and your lawyer should make a motion to stop the prosecutor from being able to use it. Your lawyer should also argue that fact in an effort to negotiate a plea.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    What you described sounds as though the fruits of the search may well be "suppress-ible."
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Thomas C. Brandstrader Attorney At Law | Thomas C. Brandstrader
    Yes. Warrant is no good.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Culp , Doran , Seidlin & Genest | Michael Culp
    Sounds like a bad search. You may be able to file a motion to suppress and keep any illegally obtained evidence from being used in court.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Yes it is. Unless the police got a telephonic amendment to the original warrant, the warrant must describe in detail the persons or places to be searched. If they didn't get an amendment, you can have any criminal evidence thrown out and you can also sue the department for violating your Civil Rights.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    The police are only allowed to search the areas specified within the search warrant; otherwise, a judge, upon motion by your lawyer, may exclude the use of evidence that was recovered from an unspecified area.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Bronx Criminal Lawyer
    Bronx Criminal Lawyer | Peter J. Schaffer
    A search warrant must specify the location (address) of the area to be searched. A search warrant for one address is probably not valid for a different address (unless the location is identified by more than one address). This may be grounds to suppress (keep out of evidence) any property seized pursuant to the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Usually, the Warrant only covers a specific property so if the property which was raided was not the property on the Warrant, then the Police did not have the authority to raid the wrong property.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Yes it can be get a lawyer to read and review search warrant.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Jason D. Baltz | Jason Daniel Baltz
    I would file a motion to suppress any evidence taken at the house as a result of the wrong address.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
    K.S.A. 22-2502 says, "A search warrant shall be issued only upon the oral or written statement, including those conveyed or received by telefacsimile communication, of any person under oath or affirmation which states facts sufficient to show probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed and which particularly describes a person, place or means of conveyance to be searched and things to be seized." If the address is wrong, your argument is that it did not "particularly describe" what was actually searched!
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    It is possible that an incorrect address on a warrant could cause a judge to invalidate a warrant. You need to bring the copy of the warrant (or whatever paperwork you have) to be reviewed by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    The Law Offices of Stephen L. Richards | Stephen L. Richards
    Yes. But if the officers rely in good faith on the warrant, the search may be upheld.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Matthew Cameron Attorney at Law
    Matthew Cameron Attorney at Law | Matt Cameron
    Yes, the Fourth Amendment requires that warrants "particularly describe the place to be searched." I would have to see more here, but this does sound like a serious problem that may possibly provide grounds to suppress any evidence or information obtained at the address that was actually searched (rather than the address on the warrant).
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Aaron Black Law
    Aaron Black Law | Aaron Black
    This could be a big issue. It would be necessary to see what else is listed for the search. If the search was too broad there may be a good argument to suppress evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    A warrant must spell out with particularity the place to be searched and the things to be seized. A warrant that is defective as to the address is void and the search is illegal, anything seized as a result of the search would be "fruits of the poison" tree and not admissible as adverse evidence against the occupant of the dwelling.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    Potentially. A search warrant must state with particularity the person or place to be searched and the items to be searched for. Therefore, most search warrants typically contain an address and property description. Depending upon how egregious the error is, the warrant could be invalid. If it is a mere typo with a number off, but the property description is still good, they can likely get by on a "good-faith" exception. Bottom line, this is a potentially good issue that needs to be examined further.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    Possibly. It depends on the other language in the warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/19/2011
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP | M. Jason Rhoades
    Evidence seized in such a situation MAY be able to be suppressed, but it depends on the specifics of the warrant and discrepancies. In any event, for any hope of getting the evidence suppressed, the individual needs an attorney working aggressively on the case now!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/19/2011
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