Under the state and federal constitutions, individuals have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, this requires that police officers obtain a warrant before searching a person’s home. However, just because the police get a warrant does not mean that the warrant itself cannot be challenged.
To be valid, a search warrant must list with “particularity” the places to be searched. This requirement ensures that a search conducted pursuant to a valid warrant remains reasonable. In a recent New York gun case, the court discussed the particularity requirement.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, police officers obtained a warrant allowing them to search a particular residence. The warrant contained the correct street address. However, when police officers arrived to execute the warrant, they were told that the unit is actually three separate living spaces. The defendant apparently lived on the third floor, his mother on the first, and an unrelated party on the second floor.