Search Warrant Not Supported by Probable Cause Example Case In California

In People v. Hernandez (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 919, the police were investigating a drug dealer and twice they observed the dealer park his car behind a residence. Based upon this limited information, they obtained a search warrant for the residence, which belonged to the defendant. Inside they found heroin. The court concluded that the search warrant was not supported by probable cause because there was nothing linking the drug dealer to the residence other than the fact that he parked his car behind the residence. The Hernandez court elaborated: "No information was presented that the drug dealer owned the vehicles, lived at the . . . residence, received mail or phone calls at the residence, or was seen carrying packages to and from it. Based on the totality of the circumstances, there was no substantial basis for concluding that probable cause existed for the residential search." (30 Cal.App.4th at p. 924.)