California Court Rules that Search of a Computer Not Specifically Mentioned in Search Warrant, Violated Defendant’s Rights

By: Wallin & Klarich

Police obtained a warrant to search the property of a defendant thought to be a drug dealer. While in the house executing the search warrant, police officers decided to also search the defendant’s computer and discovered child pornography. As a result of the search of the computer, the homeowner was charged with unlawful possession of child pornography. Although the search warrant did not specifically authorize a search of any computers, the trial court denied the defendant’s motion to suppress the evidence found on the computer.

A motion to suppress evidence is used when evidence is obtained in violation of the defendant’s rights. If the motion is granted, the evidence is not allowed to be used at trial. In this case, the trial court denied the defendant’s motion, ruling that although the warrant never authorized the search of a computer, there was no violation of the defendant’s rights, and the evidence could be used against him. The court said that since the judge who issued the search warrant testified that he intended to include the search of computers, the search was proper.

The Court of Appeal in California disagreed and ruled that the search of the defendant’s computer violated his Constitutional rights. The court ordered that all evidence obtained from the computer was inadmissible at trial.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you hire an aggressive, experienced criminal defense firm that knows how to protect your legal rights against unlawful search and seizures. Hiring an experienced criminal defense law firm can greatly increase your chances of keeping your freedom, and ensuring that you receive the lowest possible sentence. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-280-6839 or go to our website at for more information.

Posted In: Criminal Defense