Can I get my case thrown out if the address on the search warrant was wrong even if they found a small amount of drugs?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I get my case thrown out if the address on the search warrant was wrong even if they found a small amount of drugs?

Recently a search warrant was served at my residence but the address was incorrect. The address on the warrant was actually for my brother’s home on the next street over and they never searched his home. Even though I pointed this error out to the officers that served the warrant, they proceeded to searched my home no matter how much I protested. I was unable to record any of the events because they immediately confiscated my phone upon entering. They only found a small amount of marijuana but they confiscated my cell phone, 2 TVs, security camera, kids walkie-talkies and my cash. I spent 3 days in jail before I could get a signature bond to be released. This is actually the second time this has happened. About a year ago, they also conducted a search and that warrant not only had the wrong address but also had my brothers nickname instead of his real name and occupant instead of my name. My brother use to live with me and he was getting into a lot of trouble and that

is what brought all of that on. He no longer lives with me. This last warrant did not list any names, just an address and that address was not mine. My lawyer last time was court appointed and would not even discuss the matter of the warrant with me. Since the address was incorrect, I feel they should have never searched my residence in the first place. What I am wondering if it is

possible to get my charges dismissed because they searched my residence without a proper search warrant?

Asked on July 23, 2018 under Criminal Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You may well be able to get the drugs thrown out: a warrant not for your address could not be used to search your home, and if the search was therefore illegal, anything found during the search should be inadmissible as the "fruit of the poisonous tree"--the authorities are not allowed to use the results ("fruit") of a tainted or illegal ("poisonous") search. If the drugs were the only evidence against you, then without them, there should be no case against you.
You attorney should be using this--that he does not want to discuss it may well be malpractice. You should first ask the court to appoint a different attorney: when you do, state to the court that the warrant was for the wrong address, not for the home that was searched, but your attorney refuses to make a motion to exclude the evidence or even discuss it with you. You will therefore be both asking for a new, more effective attorney to help you and also bringing this issue to the court's attention.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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