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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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Does a search warrant have to have both addresses listed if

Customer Question

Does a search warrant have to have both addresses listed if two seperate residence are searched
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you for the question. Yes, assuming that these are two different properties and not both on the same piece of land with the same address and described in the warrant, a warrant must list each different location to be searched by their address in order to be valid.

If you have any specific follow up questions for me, I would be glad to address those.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The residence are on the same piece of land but they are considered seperate residence because they each have their own postal address, electric meter etc. in the search warrant it does list out buildings but I would think a seperate residence would not be considered an out building.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again and thank you for the additional information. Well this will come down to what the court decides if there is a motion to suppress evidence seized in the separate building. These cases are decided on the very specific facts and exactly what was described in the warrant as far as the buildings go and what is "reasonably" within the description. The term "out building" doesn't have one uniform definition and depends on the court's interpretation.

So, this should definitely be an issue for a suppression hearing assuming there was any contraband or evidence seized in the second residence.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17535
Experience: Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
Marsha411JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The residence are on the same property but have differant postal addresses . One is 1316 and the other is 1316 D. One is a house and the other is a studio apartment. There are seperate mailboxes an electric meters for both., so even though they are on same property they are not same residence. Given the circumstances would both addresses need to listed to search both places

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
As I mentioned, this is a question that only a judge would decide after a suppression motion (assuming any evidence was seized) and only after he or she heard arguments from both counsel about whether this second residence would reasonable fall within the description of an "out building." Certainly, if I was the defense counsel I would argue that it was not and that law enforcement could have easily determined that there was a second address. But the prosecutor would argue that since this was the same plot of land and that the warrant did mention out buildings, that this description describes with enough specificity which buildings were covered by the warrant, which is all that must be described. But again, no way to predict what the court would decide. If you have a judge that leans toward the prosecution, they will decide with the State that the description was good enough. If they are a stickler and lean toward the defense, they will rule that the evidence cannot come in.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So basically no specific address has to be on a search warrant-only a description of the property they are searching. Wouldn't this be the same as if you lived in a duplex . Would they have a right to go in both sides if both sides aren't listed on the search warrant.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again--That is not really what I said and I might ask that you reread my prior posts from beginning to end. What I said, is that a court will have to decide whether the description in the warrant on its face sufficiently describes the property to be searched. I also discussed the points the defense counsel would use to argue against that conclusion. The argument related to a duplex could also be used by the defense. Again though, this is an issue that a judge makes and there is no set formula answer since it depends on all the specific facts. Normally though each address, if there are different addresses should be used.

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Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law