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If you have criminal case pending in NC and you are challenging a search warrant from SC, what state statues apply to validity?

Monroe, NC |

We have a pending criminal case in NC, during the arrest a search warrant was issued in SC where the defendant lived at the time. The search warrant issued in SC we feel is not valid so we are challenging it in NC court where the criminal case is being heard with a motion to suppress. The judge is not sure he has the authority in NC to throw out a SC search warrant and if he does he is not sure whether to apply SC statute or NC statute in determining whether the warrant is valid. The warrant was requested in SC by a NC detective. The judge is asking for law on the matter. Thanks for your help.

Attorney Answers 2


South Carolina law controls search warrants issued in South Carolina. Therefore, whether the search warrant was valid IN South Carolina is covered by South Carolina law. HOWEVER, North Carolina law covers whether the fruits of that search warrant are admissible in North Carolina. If you can make an argument under the rules of evidence or the constitution, you might have some legs. Your attorney should be able to help you out with this, if you don't have one, you should get one. Best of luck to you.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You can contact me for a limited telephone consultation or an email consultation at my website,, which is listed below. In addition to operating my own firm, I also work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves. I am also available for cases that do not deal with inmates incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons.

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I agree with Ms. need an attorney. If you have one, you should be speaking to him or her. If you don't get one now. There is this funny thing about the law. I am sure that somewhere, somehow a Court ruled on this in favor of the DA...but there may be 100 reported cases that support your position.

The problem is that if the DA finds this one case from say...Alaska and says that's the closest thing on point and you have nothing, the Judge will side with the DA. The DA has access to case reporting sites that you don't without great expense. Suppressing the warrant will be near impossible alone.

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