Lawyers experienced with drug cases often seek to suppress the drugs recovered by the police based upon a violation of the client’s right to not be subjected to unreasonable searches. As a general matter, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as Article I section 12 of the New York State Constitution, prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures. As a general matter, this means that police must obtain a search warrant prior to conducting a search of a person or their belongings. Even when a search warrant is obtained, however, the police must be able to show that there was probable cause of discovering some kind of criminal activity.
Given this background, someone who is arrested after a search that was based on a warrant still has the ability to challenge the search. Generally, these challenges claim that the warrant was issued on insufficient facts or that the search exceeded the scope of the warrant.
A recent New York drug possession case illustrates the type of analysis courts use when reviewing a search warrant.