Is a search and seizure legal if a warrant was invalid?

I was arrested at my home for warrants that were over a year old; they were

traffic warrants. I was incarcerated at the time the warrants were issued. When arrested, they found a small amount of meth on me. I am awaiting a court date to have the warrants quashed and the FTA’s dismissed. Will this have any bearing on my possession charge?

Asked on November 20, 2018 under Criminal Law, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. A search and seizure is considered unreasonable if it is conducted by police without a valid search warrant and does not fall under an exception to the warrant requirement. If evidence is obtained without a valid warrant and no exception applies, the evidence may be subject to the "exclusionary rule". This rule prevents illegally obtained evidence from being admitted in a court of law. Evidence obtained on the basis of illegally obtained evidence is known as "fruit of the poisonous tree" and it will also be excluded.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the warrant was invalid, you can assert that your arrest and subsequent search and discovery of the meth were the fruit of the poisonous tree. 
In other words, the meth is inadmissible evidence because it was the result of an invalid warrant.

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