Pittsfield, MA asked in Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Massachusetts

Q: Can the police obtain a search warrant to conduct a drug raid of a persons home without having any controlled buys?

For example, All they have is hearsay that a certain individual is selling drugs and they (the police) have noticed a moderate amount of traffic to the individuals home. But they haven't had any arrests of anyone in possession of drugs leaving that persons home

1 Lawyer Answer
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Acton, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: That absolutely doesnt sound like it meets the probable cause standard to get a search warrant. The search warrant gets 'returned' within 7 days after it is issued, which isnt always 7 days after the search. You would need to get a copy of the Affidavit from the Court, and that document is a Public Record once the Warrant is returned. Thehomeowner may have no idea who has been arrested after they leave the home and get around the corner, or the substance of any controlled buys either. The informant has to meet a reliability test which is also related to whether they can get insided the home by corroborating general details. These are very facts specific patterns and even if it was wrongly issued by a Judge or Clerk, it needs to be challenged by a Motion to Suppress. This is where haveing a llawyer experienced in drug crimes and narcotics traffickking can make a big difference on a case. There are many of us here on Justia more than capable of mounting and investigating those challanges, and we go all over the state too! Good luck

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