PC to Arrest & PC to Search Address Different Interests – State v. Chippero

[12/29/09 – 10:08 pm] In this morning’s Supreme Court decision in State v. Chippero, the Justices ruled that although each is based upon a finding of probable cause, search warrants and arrest warrants address discrete societal interests. An arrest warrant is intended to protect an individual’s liberty and is predicated upon a finding that there is probable cause to believe that the subject has committed, is committing or is about to commit a criminal offense. By contrast, a search warrant is designed to protect an individual’s right to privacy and is predictable upon a judicial finding that evidence of criminal activity can be located at a particular location at a particular time. Based upon these different interests, it is entirely logical that the police may well be able to demonstrate probable cause to conduct a search of a defendant’s home while at the same time lack probable cause to arrest the same defendant.

Download a copy of the Court discussion in State v. Chippero.

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