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Attorney Flynn M. Owens
200 E. Lexington Street
Suite 1300
Baltimore, MD 21202

3rd search warrant thrown out this year

Just recently, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge invalidated a search warrant in a case of a client of mind, charged with a felony narcotics violation.  This is the 3rd search warrant I have successfully challenged this year.

My client was charged with a felony narcotics violation, after a quantity of cocaine was found in his residence following the execution of a search warrant.  Due to his prior record, my client was facing a sentence of 25 years in prison, without parole, if convicted.  The police obtained a search warrant after seizing a bag of garbage from an alley behind my client's home, and finding vials in the garbage, similar to those used to package drugs for street-level sales.  I challenged the warrant on the basis that there was an insufficient link between the garbage bag and my client's home to justify the issuance of a search warrant.  Although the bag was found behind my client's home, the police in writing the warrant, failed to specify who put the bag outside, when it was put outside, or whether anyone could have possibly tampered with the bag once it was put outside.  In fact, the police wrote in the warrant that based on where the bag was found, anyone merely walking through the area could have accessed it.  This bolstered my argument that a 3rd-party, not associated with my client's home, could have placed the vials in the garbage (everyday life experiences tell us that when garbage is placed outside, items can be placed in the garbage by individuals who do not live in the residence from where the garbage came).  Additionally, in writing the warrant, the police failed to specify whether any personal papers, such as mail in my client's name, were found in the garbage (such papers would have established a link between the garbage and my client's home).

After hearing arguments from both myself and the state, the court agreed with my position and found that the warrant was invalid.  All evidence therefore seized pursuant to the execution of the warrant was inadmissible, and the state dismissed all charges against my client.

        

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