If an illegal substance is found during the execution of a search warrant for something else, can I still be charged?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If an illegal substance is found during the execution of a search warrant for something else, can I still be charged?

If an arresting officer states that he has found narcotics in car but on search warrant affidavit it says nothing about drugs, can he still charge me? Cop says that he found weed and crack cocaine. Weed is in the report affidavit but no mention of cocaine. Should I speak to a criminal attorney? In Lexington, SC.

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Pursuant to a search warrant, the police can search only the place described in the warrant and can seize only the property that the warrant describes (subject to the exception below). Therefore, for example, they cannot search a house if the warrant specifies the garage, nor can they search for weapons if the warrant lists marijuana plants.


Exception:  That having been said, this doesn't mean the police can seize only those items listed in the warrant. If, in the course of a search, they come across contraband or evidence of a crime that is not listed in the warrant, they can lawfully seize such unlisted items.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption