FLORIDA CONVICTIONS AND SEARCH WARRANT OVERTURNED
RONALD JEROME RUSS, JR., V STATE OF FLORIDA,
The 5th District Court of Appeals in Florida overturned a set of convictions that resulted from an overly broad search warrant that was issued without probable cause. In Russ, Jr. V. State 5D14-1740 & 5D14-2655 (FLA 5th DCA February 5th 2016) the defendant was caught attempting to burglarize a business location. After he was arrested, the law enforcement agency sought a search warrant for his mother’s residence due to similar burglaries being committed in a time period of about two weeks prior. There was no evidence directly tying the defendant to any other burglary. The search warrant authorized law enforcement to seize “any and all burglary tools, stolen items, or any similar items pertaining to this or any other recent burglary.” The Court ruled that the warrant failed to specify adequately which material was to be seized, giving the officers unconstitutionally overbroad discretion to pick and choose what to seize. The Court also ruled that the prior burglaries weren’t specifically tied to the the defendant – noting that simply stating that the burglaries were conducted in a similar matter and in the same general area was not sufficient for a warrant.
If you believe that you or your loved one’s improperly executed search warrant led to an incorrect arrest, Contact a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney to discuss your defense options.