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My son had just gotten home from work with his 18 mo old son when the police broke in with a search warrant-stating they were looking for crack cocaine, scales, bags, money, weapons. They asked him if he had any and he stated no -they asked if he had anything - he told them a pipe in a small safe in the bedroom-they found the pipe and some seeds and stems-the chief officer was told that there was nothing in the apt but seeds & stems and a pipe which was clean-his wife came home during the search-her purse was taken from her and a small switchblade knife was found at the bottom of her purse which was confiscated as illegal-which she did not know was illegal-they informed the officers that the apt next door had drug dealers and the officers found crack, cocaine powder, money and scales-which was brought back to my sons apt and placed on his sons highchair tray. No arrests were made and now 11 months and 1 days after the search my son & his wife have both been charged-him with possession of marijuana and paraphinalia and her with posssession of an illegal knife. Hasnt too much time gone by since the search for there to be charges brought against them? This took place on Oct 19, 1999-we live in Wisconsin-they are facing jail and enormous fines for this. The complaint charges that marijuana was found in their apt.



I am a law school graduate. What I offer is mere information, not to be construed as forming an attorney client relationship.

Get a lawyer immediately in the are of criminal defense. I think what happened is if the neighbors were the ones with all of this: either the warrant had the right address and the police thought it was your son's apartment OR they had the wrong address.

Let's put it this way:

1. If they had the right address, they had no right to go into the neighbor's house and confiscate all this stuff and bring it back into your son's house. They needed a warrant to go into the neighbor's house. In which case, you need to check through your attorney whether or not 11 months is past the reasonable time limit (which I don't think it is) and whether this would fall under fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. This doctrine just means anything that comes from illegally searched/seized evidence by the police is a fruit of a poisonous tree and should be excluded from the evidence presented in court. Often, this means the entire case is dismissed due to lack of evidence.

2. If they had the wrong address, again fruit of poisonous tree should be used because the police had no right to be in your son's apartment in the first place.

Although these arguments are not this cut and dry in practice, use them as a sense of comfort in knowing these charges probably won't stick. You also need to check through your attorney (as well as on your own) to see if these charges have any sort of intent factor (ie. his wife didn't know it was illegal). Go to the freeadvice.com homepage and click on the state statutes at the very top of the page. click on your state and then look under both the criminal code and the criminal procedure code for applicable information.


Thank you for the information - but I do have another question - there was no name on the search warrant - only an address - and my son was told that "word on the street was" and also that it was an on-going investigation-but they were surprised that my son lived there - they did not know he had a toddler or that his wife lived there either- wanted to know who she was and what she was doing there when she walked in from work. This whole thiing seems bogus to me and I think they are covering their butts by these charges and also the lies stated in the criminal complaint - since they announced there was no crack, etc in the apt - then the complaint states there was marijuana and there wasnt.


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