What are my rights if 4 months ago officers executed a search warrant that listed my boyfriend’s name but our address and I have now just been arrested due to what was found?

UPDATED: Jul 3, 2015

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What are my rights if 4 months ago officers executed a search warrant that listed my boyfriend’s name but our address and I have now just been arrested due to what was found?

As a result of the search warrant my boyfriend was arrested with 9 criminal charges. Now, 4 months later, I accompanied my boyfriend to one of his court appearances, when arrived an officer approached me with an arrest warrant, the warrant listed 8 of the same charges my boyfriend originally got. Can an arrest warrant be issued if my name was not listed on the original search warrant? And why or for what reasons was there a 4 month wait on charges for me?

Asked on July 3, 2015 under Criminal Law, Kansas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You have a couple of sub-parts to this question... so I'm going to break it up into different areas:

First is the search warrant.  A warrant generally only needs to allege one suspect, even though the officers may suspect the involvement of more than one person.  So the listing of the name or ommission of a name won't affect the validity of the warrant.

Second is the validity of the warrant.  Even though your name was not on the warrant, you do have the right to challenge the validity of the warrant if the warrant was for your home and the reason for the charges against you.  This is called "having standing to challenge."  Instead of focusing on the names, focus on the content of the affidavit and the items to be searched for.  If they had the wrong address listed, if the affidavit did not contain sufficient facts to support an arrest, or if there were technical issues with the execution of the warrant--- then any evidence obtained could potentially be thrown out resulting in a dismissal of the charges against you.

Third is the charges against you.  As long as the police agency is securing the arrest within the statute of limitations, then the timing of the arrest is valid.  It is not usual for detectives to seize evidence, take pictures, and submit them for review or analysis during the days following the search.  Once they did their review or testing, they could have then decided to charge you.  Their choice to charge you could also be strategic-- namely, hoping that you will roll over on your boyfiend because their case is not as air tight was they wanted it to be against him.  Without seeing exactly what they have, I can't give you a specific as to the motivation-- but do know that an arrest can happen at a later date for various reasons.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney to help you, request a court appointed attorney.  Warrants can be challenged, but they have to be properly reviewed and properly challenged.  If you don't have someone do this for you, there is a potential that you could waive your right to complain about any defects or issues in the warrant.

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