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If the cops have a search warrant tof ind something, but find something else could i get in trouble?
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If the cops have a search warrant tof ind something, but find something else could i get in trouble?

Example: Lets say i killed someone, and i stashed the weapon in my house, they get a search warrant to search my house and find a bag of cocaine? Can i get in trouble for that?


sure can , if a police officer has a warrant to search your house , and in the course of the warrant search he or she finds like you said drugs , yes sir your going to be prosecuted for that , now on the same line here , lets say your being served a warrant for a stolen car , the police officer can't look in your breadbox because you could not keep the car in a bread box , thus the warrant would not cover that

El Scott
Yes the coke is abmisable as evidence. Except in very rare cases.

Here is the deal. In your example the Police are looking for a gun and evidence of the crime of murder. On the search warrant will be a list of things they are looking for. In this case the fire arm would be on the list. There will also usually be a catch all (which the courts allow) that says something like "any other evidence of the criminal nature" which is needed to investigate serious crimes (i.e. murder).

Now if the Police were looking for a stolen piano and the only thing listed on the search warrant is the stolen piano then there may be a problem. If the cocaine was found in a desk drawer for example then it would not be allowed in court. Logically you can not hide a stolen piano in a desk drawer so the police have no authority to look in the desk drawer. You can however, find a gun in a desk drawer. I hope that example makes sense.

If I was facing murder charges (i.e. life in prison or the needle) I wouldn't worry too much about a little cocaine charge.

Depends on the scope of their warrant, and where it was found. If there warrant was specific to the weapon, and it was a plain site warrant, and the cocain was well hidden, no.

It all depends on the warrant.

Yes. It's called an incidental discovery resulting from a legal search.

Dog Lover
Yes........ anything found during a search warrant is admissible in court.

Oh my god yes!!!


You can get in trouble and serve time most definatly

It depends on the scope of the search. Most warrants are worded in such a way that it would be legal for the cops to search every crook and cranny and pinch you for anything illegal.
However, I have heard of evidence being thrown out of court b/c some objects found did not fall under the scope of the search outlined in the warrant.
I'm pretty sure you'll get into trouble but it depends on how slick your lawyer is in the end when it comes to these things.

federal pig
yes and no. it depends on the scope of the warrant. if all the specifications of the document were followed (i.e. only certain rooms may be searched, or certain places....) and they find something else, its considered good faith. the police were acting in good faith and just happened to find some other illegal activity.

Kenneth C
A lot of people are way off here.

If they have a search warrant to search your house, they have a legal right to be inside of your house. So if they find something illegal, it falls under plain view and you can be arrested for it.

There is the issue of the scope of the warrant though. If they have a search warrant for a gun. They walk into the living room and find the weapon sitting on the table. If they then go upstairs and continue searching and find a pound of marijuana. The marijuana would most likely be thrown out because once the police found the gun, they are done searching. Nothing more can be done, except a brief protective sweep for any people that might be in the house.

Also with the scope of the warrant calls for common sense. If the officers are looking for a stolen oven and one goes through some dresser drawers and finds a bag of meth, the meth would probably be thrown out, because common sense would tell you that an oven can't fit in a dresser so that is beyond the scope of a search.

When you are serving a search warrant, it is very clear in what you can search and where.

But in general if they are looking for something in your house and find something else illegal, you can and will be arrested for it.

Not at that time. However, they probably have a right to issue a second warrant for the drugs, etc. later on. They will usually secure anything illegal they find.

Using your example the cops will probably name both the weapon and the ammunition that fits the weapon in their search warrant. That gives them the right to look any place in your home that is large enough to contain what they're looking for. You can hide a bullet in some pretty small places so they can look pretty much where they want to and if they find something illegal in the process then it becomes evidence and you'll be in trouble. On the other hand if you are a suspect in the theft of a lawn mower and they come to your home looking for the lawn mower in your night stand drawer and find cocaine then you'll probably get off.

Blue Steel & Lace
Yes - you can.

Not Me!!
most warrants say right to search "premises" at such and such Addy. Premises being the key word, anything hidden or in open is search-able. Any illegal substances, stolen property, etc. etc. can be confiscated and you can be charged.

yes in the course of the search and they find anything illegal, you can be charged and the whatnot.
but if you killed someone and they got enough on you for a search warrant, the coke is the least of your worries.

yep, if the coke was anywhere the weapon could have been hidden then they got you. if the coke was hidden where no weapon would fit then maybe you got a case....BUT usually cops are use broad encompassing terms in their warrants. If they are also looking for "evidence of the weapon" such as ammo or paperwork then you can not hide anything...

In the long run(in your example) you are a doper that got caught and is looking to manipulate the system to shirk the responsibility. Jail would be good to kick the habit.

I hope it is just a hypothetical situation.

While the warrant is specific on one particular find if there are things in "Plain View" then they take be ceased and you can be charge accordingly. Now if they found the weapon and decide to rummage further on then NO you cannot be held nor charged with that...and any lawyer can get you off on that...but you also have to take into account the state and municipality you are in as well.

Yes. They may not have the power or evidence to incriminate you for murder but they can arrest you for drug abuse. The warrant serves as a passport not only to enter your house but to search it to. The D.A. can file any case on you if they have evidence depending on what was found in your house even if it wasn't the case they were looking forward to because they didn't find the evidence but found a new evidence for a new crime.

Orlando M
if the warrant served specifically state that it was served for
a weapon's search and yet the cops found a bag of cocaine
instead, I believe that since cocaine is an illegal drug you can
be arrested even without search warrant. However since the
cops failed to find a weapon in your premises they cannot
arrest you for murder or homeside.

in the philippines it would not be valid. search warrant sare supposed to be particular as possible as to the things to be searched/seized. if they have a warrant for murder, a bag of coccaine can't be seized if it's wasn't part of the warrant.

the warrant should also have only one violation of a law. unless it's a special crime i think, but that's a different story. if you are being searched because of murder, search of coccaine because of its possession cant be considered valid if it's not the crime described in the warrant.

California Street Cop
Yes. If a warrant gets them in, anything they find is admissible. Heres is the caveat.

If the warrant is to search for a person or something large, then they can only look in places a person or something large could be found. If they found a bag of dope or a machine gun in a drawer where a human or something large could not possibly be, then that contraband could not be used as evidence in a court case. If the contraband was in plain view then they would have another warrant issued right on the spot.

police had a warrant for drugs to raid michael vick's house, not dog fighting. everything there was seized.

Yes..........enjoy prison

As long as it is reasonable that a knife could be hidden in the same area and the parameters of the search were not violated. If they are at you house looking for a car and look in the closet, you would pretty much be safe. Your coke would be gone but it would not be admissible in court.

yes indeed...in fact, the penalty for murder is lower...


It is my understanding that the warrant is narrowly defined based upon probable cause.

I think anything found that wasn't part of the original reason for the search would be inadmissable/non-prosecutable.

Good question. I'd like to see what the responses are. I'm curious about the facts beyond my speculation. Perhaps a lawyer will reply.

if it is out in the open, then yes, you can get in trouble. however, if they have the warrant to search your house and they find the cocaine while searching, then no.

Jon H
yes, they are cops, they do whatever they want and explain later.

Aviator - THE Resolution
From what I understand, they can only take evidence that the search warrant is specifically looking for. So if they specify cocaine as what the warrant is for, they can only take cocaine as evidence. But I would assume they say things like "illegal drugs, and other illegal activities" on the warrant to cover anything they come across. But I really don't know for sure. I'm sure someone will give a better answer.

My yahoo tool bar disappeared?
No. If I read your question right.
If they are looking for illegal drugs and find counterfeit money for example, the answer is no.
But I'd be careful about counterfeiting after that.

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