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If you’ve been charged with a crime and need serious legal representation, call Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale at 918-277-4800. Your initial 60-minute consultation is free. Attorney Cale also provides you with a free defense strategy plan.
One of the things that attorney Cale of the Cale law office tries to do is get a charge dismissed. He does this by filing a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress usually comes after a preliminary hearing in a felony case. Oftentimes there is heavy litigation concerning whether or not a search was lawful. There are thousands of cases dealing with this issue.
Take, for example, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals case of United States vs. Kerry. Kerry was charged with one count possessing a computer hard drive a contain three or more images of child pornography produce with material shipped in interstate commerce. After a conditional plea of guilty, he appealed an order of the district court denying his motion to suppress the material sees from his computer. He argued that was taken as a result of a general warrantless search. The 10th circuit concluded that the motion to suppress should have been granted. Kerry had been investigation for possible sale possession of cocaine. Informants bought cocaine from him at his residence. Six weeks after the last purchase, police got a search warrant to arrest him. During the course of the arrest, officers observed in plain view a bond, which is a device for smoking marijuana and. They also found what appeared to be marijuana in the defendant’s apartment.
Based on these observations, police asked Carrie to consent to search of his apartment. He also said he would get a search warrant if Carrie refused permission. After long discussion with the officer, carry verbally consented to the search and later sign a formal consent at the police station. He was concerned that the officers would trash his apartment during the search. So Carrie gave them instructions on how to find drug related items.
The written consent authorized a police officer to conduct a complete search of the his apartment. It also stated that he freely voluntarily consented and agreed that any property under his control could been removed by the officers if such property was essential in the proof of the commission of a crime in violation of the laws of United States. With his consent, the officers returned to the apartment and discovered quantities of cocaine, marijuana, and magic mushrooms. They also discovered and took two computers, which they believed would be either subject to forfeiture or evidence of drug dealing.
The computers were taken to a police station award was later obtained by the officers to search the files and on the computer for names, telephone numbers, letters, receipts, addresses, and other documentary evidence pertaining to the sound distribution of controlled substances. A detective in a computer technician search for the contents of the computers, first in the directories both computer hard drives. Included in the directories were many files was sexually suggestive titles. Next the technician in a keyword such as money, discounts, people, and so forth into the computers explore to find text-based files contain those words. The search produced nothing related to drugs.
The detective continued to look through the directories and account some files that he was not familiar with. Unable to view these files on the computer he was using, he downloaded them to disk and place them into another computer. He was doing able to view what he later described as a photo file. After opening this file, you discover that it had child pornography.
The detective delegate about 200 image files. After downloading several damages, he returned to the computers to assume his original task of looking for evidence of drug transactions.
Mister Carey moved to suppress computer files containing child pornography, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. During the hearing on the motion, the detective stated that although the discovery of the image files was completely inadvertent, when he saw the first picture containing child pornography, he developed all because the blade the same kind material was present on other image files. When asked why he did not obtain a search warrant to search the remaining image files for the child pornography, he he stated that the issue arise and his captain to care that through the local district attorney. The warrant was obtained by the officers nevertheless continue search because believed he had to search these files as well as any other files containing images in the computer.
When asked by the prosecution about the files, the detective stated that until he had opened each file he didn’t really know its contents. Therefore, according to him he did not believe he was restricted by the search warrant from opening each image file. The District Court denied the motion to suppress without making any findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Denials of motions to suppress are reviewed for clear error, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. Reasonableness of a search is reviewed de novo. As Carrie argued that the search of computer transform the warrant to a general warrant and resulted in a general an illegal search of computers and the files. The fourth amendment requires that a search warrant described the things to be seized with sufficient particularity to prevent a general exploratory rummaging in a person’s belongings. The requirement that warrants be particular and describe the things to be sees makes the general searches under them impossible and prevents the seizure of one thing under a warrant describing another. As to what is been taken, and that his be left to the discretion of the officers executed a search warrant.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s extremely important that you contact Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale right away. Give him a call at 918-277-4800 to set up your free, 60 minute initial consultation. Attorney Stephen Cale is an aggressive lawyer who will fight hard for you.