False Affidavit Results in Suppressed Evidence – State v. Dispoto

[2/17/06 5:51 pm] Today’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Dispoto affirms the suppression of physical evidence seized under the authority of a search warrant as well as the suppression of an incriminating statement taken from the defendant. Initially, following a motion to suppress evidence hearing, the motion judge sustained the search and seizure of the evidence taken under the authority of the search warrant. However, during the course of a later Miranda hearing held at trial, the same judge heard additional evidence which led him to conclude that certain critical information provided in the search warrant application had been false and that key aspects of the police officers’ testimony was incredible. Accordingly, the judge granted the motion to suppress the statement and reversed his own earlier order, thereby granting the motion to suppress the evidence that had been seized.

The Appellate Division ruled that judges have long had the authority to modify their own interlocutory rulings and orders. The panel also held that there was sufficient credible evidence in the record for the motion judge to have concluded that the search warrant contained false and misleading information which resulted in the warrant being issued in the absence of probable cause.

Download a copy of State v. Dispoto.

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