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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20354
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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A police officer swore out a search warrant using information

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A police officer swore out a search warrant using information he knew was completely false. Do I have any legal recourse if I have proof he gave false information to a magistrate to obtain the warrant?

Thank you for the information and your question. First, your attorney could challenge the warrant on the basis of the false information. Then if the court determines that the warrant was obtained through false information, then under the 4th Amendment, any evidence that was seized as a result of the false information would be suppressed. The only way the State could get the evidence in would be if they can prove inevitable discovery, which you will want to speak to your attorney about.

All that said, you would also have a civil rights cause of action for the false statements, assuming that these were made intentionally false and not made in good faith reliance on a reliable source. That suit would be a Federal suit under Title 43 United States Code section 1983.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What would my first steps be to initiate actions against the officer? Contact a Magistrate and say......?
Hello again and thank you for your reply. No, as I mentioned, your attorney would challenge the introduction of any evidence seized as a part of the warrant that was falsely sworn. That is the first step on the criminal side. On the civil side, it is better to wait until the criminal issues are resolved so that you have the evidence sufficient to sustain your Section 1983 civil rights case. You would not be talking to the magistrate at all. Your attorney would make a motion to suppress the evidence seized from introduction at trial.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was under the impression that I would be swearing out something against the officer at some point, but it is all attorney work from this point? The preliminary hearing is in a month.
No, it would be your attorney who would challenge the introduction of the evidence gathered as a result of the invalid warrant which, I assume, was already served and executed. During that process is when your attorney introduces evidence of the false information. There will be testimony on both sides of the case,which can include your testimony if necessary, and the court will decide then whether or not their were intentionally false statements made. If so, the evidence is suppress unless, as I mentioned, the Government can prove eventual discovery. Then after that is when you can file a civil suit for violation of your civil rights with a civil attorney.
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