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A recent search warrant resulted in nothing being found or evidence of any criminal activity. What can I expect in the future

Anaheim, CA |

In December we were awakened by our door being smashed in and the police shoving guns in our faces demanding to know where the drugs were. A false complaint had been filed accusing my husband of being a drug dealer. The sheriff tossed our apartment and left us with a terrible mess. Nothing was found, no evidence of criminal activity. One sheriff demanded that my husband call him daily to check in. WHY? No arrest was made. I still jump and shake violently every time I hear a door slam and can't sleep from the nightmares this ordeal caused. Is this the end of it? Can we expect this to happen sometime in the future? We didn't do anything wrong but are being treated like criminals. What can we do to protect ourselves in the future should this raise it's head again.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Not you, but your attorney should write a letter to all your local law enforcement agencies and describe the devistation you have experienced.

Let them know that once they searched and found nothing, that further searches will be interpreted as harrassment. I also recommend this type of letter for new occupants of apartments and houses formerly occupied by felons; instances where a parolee was staying at a residence but is no longer staying there, etc.
Don't communicate directly and in person, but by attorney's letter. This will let law enforcement know that it needs a much much higher threshold of probable cause to repeat the procedure. (implied in this is a civil rights threat).

At the same time, do a complete micro sweep of the premises. What if the search was instigated by a much earlier resident who left something behind? What if you have drugs there and don't know about it? What if someone slipped in and planted something and wants to punish you with it, but the police simply were unable to find it?

Keep a clean, neat, orderly house and remove ANYTHING that is illegal.

Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.

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Posted

I like the way you think. I spent 11 years married to a task force officer, I know their routine and in other circumstances they don't scare me either but when they are standing at my bed with a gun in my face it's a different situation all together. I wasn't even named on the warrant why did they go after me? My sister came by during the height of the raid and one of the officers told my sister I was going to jail. That's just wrong. I've moved out of the apartment we were in and went through everything in the place with a fine tooth comb, emptied file boxes, opened boxes that have been packed for one reason or another and never unpacked. Both of my adult children have had their share of issues with drugs, they are both clean now but I never knew when I would find something they forgot or intentionally left so they wouldn't be caught with it. Usually they would say something and I'd get rid of it but I can't trust that and did the sweep just in case. I'd considered the incorrect address but they had the right address though the description of my husband was totally off base - had him described as 6'4", 190 lbs, brown hair, green eyes. He's 6'2", 245 lbs, very blond and has blue eyes. His vehicle was listed as a 1996 ford with a regular license plate. He drives a navy blue GMC 1 ton truck with a commercial plate. Everything about the warrant was wrong but I didn't get to see a copy of it until they were finished tossing the place. I repair antique crystal and had 2 butane torches in the closet and a gallon of muratic acid I use to remove stains and etching. They got all kinds of excited, the glass rods didn't help much either but after questioning me in a manner that was supposed to have kept me confused and 2nd guessing myself, they gave in to their defeat at trying to mess with my head. (I took verbal judo too) So if you can think of anything else that would be helpful or absolutely brilliant please let me know and I will pass it on to my attorney friend who is willing to construct the letter but still a little iffy about putting it on his letterhead. I will continue to persuade him in the right direction (I'll ask his wife for assistance in this effort). I am not a weak minded individual by any stretch of the imagination but this situation left me questioning by capabilities to stand up for myself given the fact that I felt they were more interested in my than my husband by the time they were finished. Thank you again for your time and energy given to provide a reasonable and logical answer and approach to a solution. N

Posted

Giving the police the benefit of the doubt, a magistrate issued a search warrant based on some, apparent credible information from some confidential informant. If as you say you and your husband are not involved in criminal activities, that may be the end of it. As for reporting everyday, without an arrest, heck even with. Arrest, your husband has no obligation to speak to anyone. Remember, you have the right to remain silent, SO SHUT UP! Sorry for being crude. You probably have no civil claim against police since they have qualified immunity, which means they usually get away with it! I suggest you just continue with your life until something DOES happen that leads to an arrest. I could go on but I will leave it at that. See what others may suggest. I provide a free consultation if you feel you would like to discuss the matter further. Tel. 714.547.7939. Good luck!!

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Posted

Thank you for taking the time to comment and offer some explanation regarding this issue. I am concerned about the information provided and where it came from because the information on the search warrant was so incorrect. My husband was named but his description was noted as 6'4". 190 lbs, brown hair, and green eyes. My husband is 6'2", 245 lbs, very blond, and blue eyes. They also listed his vehicle as a 1996 Ford with a regular license plate. He drives a navy blue GMC 1 ton truck with a commercial plate. I was not named at all on the warrant but by the time they were about finished with their tea party I was left with the impression they were more interested in me than my husband. I was married to a task force officer for 11 years, I know their routines and what they do on purpose just to mess with people and be mean "because they can". This should not have rattled me as badly as it has. During their questioning they tried to get me to 2nd guess myself and insert doubt but I"ve taken verbal judo too and they didn't get anywhere but frustrated at their inability to "break" me. My husband has been in trouble before but it's been 25 years and had nothing to do with drugs at all. He can handle them quite well. I am allergic to jail though I've never been there and plan on keeping it that way. I'm always on my toes but need to pay closer attention to my husband and who he's keeping company with, what he's doing and with whom. Hold him accountable for his time since he has a lot of it on his hands. I work from home so he will take off when I need to be on the phone because it's private information and health insurance carriers, the whole HIPAA compliance thing. I rarely ask what he did while he was out. I guess it's time to get a little more involved in his activities. G-d help him if he's actually doing something that would cause this to happen and not say anything to me. Thanks again for your time and valuable information given. You have no idea how much more settled I feel about this. N

Robert Roman

Robert Roman

Posted

Thank you for your comments. Very much appreciated. I wish you WELL! Have a great weekend!

Asker

Posted

Sorry, I got a little winded. For the record, I am well. You enjoy your weekend as well.

Posted

Under the Fourth Amendment we have the right to be free from “unreasonable” searches & seizures. Apparently a judge has determined that there was “probable cause” to believe that drugs or other “contraband” would be found at your residence. That means the judge would have been presented some “facts” in the form of a sworn police report that someone supposedly saw criminal activity at your residence. An undercover officer, witnesses or confidential informant can be used to provide these “facts.” However, the police must take some steps to verify the information. For example someone cannot just call the police on the phone anonymously and say that drug dealing is going on at your house and the police automatically get a warrant based upon that statement alone.

And there is a lot more to getting a search warrant than just such a phone call. So I am concerned that the police may have been watching your residence and may have seen people connected with drug dealing enter your home. You need to have a conversation with your husband about that. The other possibility is that the police simply typed the wrong address number on the search warrant and may have searched the wrong house.

It is very unusual for the police to tell someone to call them daily. Has your husband had any other recent contact with the police? More seems to be going on here. Your husband does not have to call them.

Finally, you can submit a “claim” to the city or county for any damage done to your residence and personal property. You should consider speaking directly to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your rights.

Los Angeles and Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney & DUI Lawyer Disclaimer: The criminal defense, DUI, DMV, drivers license suspension, drug crime, domestic violence or other criminal defense information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ if based on different facts. Please contact a California criminal defense or drug offense lawyer in Los Angeles and Orange County. This "Answer" on AVVO is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.

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Posted

There seems to be enough evidence that a warrant was issued. This means thatthere was more than someone falsely accusing you, they needed to provide some corroboration to this. At the very least, he is hanging out with some shady people. The one qualification I would put on this is that if he was on probation or parole, his rights are less than the average person and therefore they would need less evidence before doing this. I would not expect this to occur again unless they obtain additional evidence. They would not want to be wrong twice. Do not communicate with them. The Sherriff's statement to "check in" is not something that can really be ordered, unless he was on probation or parole.

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No parole or probation, an unfortunate reality that drug use and abuse is just as much a problem among the very wealthy as it is among the very poor. The only thing that divides them is the ability to pay to get out of trouble or to keep it under wraps. I don't communicate with any member of law enforcement unless they have the badge off. Having been married to a task force officer for 11 years so I am well aware of their routines and tactics I just never imagined it ever happening to me. I didn't think the check in thing held any weight when I suggested my husband lose the phone number you don't owe them anything, unless they plan on coming back and cleaning their mess up. Nothing has happened since the raid but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. So long as it drops when I'm not home. If, in fact there is something going on (and I doubt I'm that ignorant of the people in my life) it will be his cross to bear. I go to jail for no one, even my husband. Thanks for everything it was most helpful.

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