Is a search warrant invalid if it has the wrong address on it?

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Is a search warrant invalid if it has the wrong address on it?

In the first paragraph of the warrant, the officers are given permission to enter and search the premises. However, in this paragraph, the address is incorrect. The warrant gives permission to enter Apartment #123, but the apartment is really #213. Does this mistake make the search warrant illegal?

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The warrant is valid but the search may not be.  Having the wrong address, and particularly having the wrong address along with other incorrect information, might render a search unlawful.  Accordingly, any evidence obtained can be excluded at trial.  However, if the wrong address was entered on the warrant, before trial the defendant could argue that the evidence seized should be excluded, but as long as it was the residence of the person arrested and named in the search warrant, the search may well be upheld.  Without more of the specifics of your case it's hard to say.  Since this is such a procedurally technical area of the law, you really should consult directly with a criminal defense attorney in your area.


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