I'm not sure I truly understand the question. If they have an arrest warrant, they cannot search the house except to determine if a threat exists and they can search a reasonable wingspan of the arrested person.
If they have a search warrant for the residence and come up with other legal violations and it results in the arrest of a person not the subject of the search warrant, it is a legal search.
Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Practicing throughout Southern California
This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.
Confusing question. Was it a search warrant or an arrest warrant? If it was a search warrant, what areas did the search warrant allow the police to search? What were the cops looking for as listed in the warrant? If it was a general search warrant, then any contraband could be seized. Where was the laptop found - in a common area like a kitchen or living room area or someone's bedroom? You may need to talk to a lawyer but don't discuss details on this site. This is a public forum.
Am trying to make sense of this. If there is an arrest warrant for you, they cannot search the premises beyond securing same. I think my problem is I cannot discern whether you speak of an arrest warrant v. a search warrant.
Allow me to rephrase. You are Mr. A. Police come to the house with an arrest warrant for Mr. A.
Mr. B, who lives in the house, approches the officers after they arrest Mr. A. Mr. B produces a stolen laptop and says "hey officers this stolen laptop and it is in my possession". The police now have plenty of probable cause to arrest Mr. B for admitting that he posessed stolen property.
If you think that Mr. B can make possession statements about a stolen laptop with no negative consequences to Mr. B, you are mistaken. Mr. B will have made a confession in this fact pattern.
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.