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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23572
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If a search warrant is issued on the basis that a certian item

Customer Question

If a search warrant is issued on the basis that a certian item was intentionally logged incorrectly by a used goods business. They search the business and find two more items in question for a total of 3 items and remove them as siezed property. Then when the charges are offically filed the business does not get charged with that specific item that was the basis of the warrant. They only charge the buisness for one of the items seized. Is it legal for the state to continue to trial on other charges found during the search warrant?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 months ago.
Hello, Yes it is legal for the state to continue to trial on what else they found while searching pursuant to a lawful warrant. In order to get a search warrant, the police need to have probable cause to believe they will find evidence of criminal activity. Probable cause is just a reasonable belief that the evidence will be there. Sometimes the search yields less than the police bargain for. Other times, the search yields more. But it wouldn't make any sense that if the police uncovered signs of additional criminal activity they couldn't seize it, even if what they were looking for originally wasn't there. They can seize other contraband that they find during the course of a search. There are, of course, limits to what an officer can do, and that's dependent upon the particular facts and circumstances of the case. The defendant here would be able to get a hearing to challenge the search and to try to get the evidence suppressed and, possibly, the case dismissed. But if the search was conducted properly, the search would withstand Constitutional scrutiny and the evidence would come in, even if it was not what the police were hoping to find in the first place.