Can police search someone coming out of a homeif they only have a search warrant for the residence?

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Can police search someone coming out of a homeif they only have a search warrant for the residence?

Police intercepted a package of drugs in the mail and obtained a search warrant for the home. The drugs were delivered but sat on the porch without being picked up. Someone left the home and was stopped by police who asked for permission to search their backpack. They refused and police said the warrant covered someone coming out of the home and found a pipe with residue. Was this an illegal search?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there is a validly signed and issued search warrant for a residence where the inside of the residence is to be searched, any person leaving the residence is also subject to search and seizure for the simple fact that the person who is leaving the residence could be carrying on his or her pseron items subject to be seized under the search warrant.

From what you have written, the search of the person leaving the home subject to the search warrant was legal and the contraband found should not be held to be inadmissible as a result of an illegal search and seizure. I suggest that the person who was stopped and presumably arrested should consult with a criminal defense attorney.


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