Is the Veracity of An Informant In Search Warrant Affidavit Significant ?
When issuing a warrant, a magistrate must "make a practical, commonsense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit before him, including the 'veracity' and 'basis of knowledge' of persons supplying hearsay information, there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place." Gates, 462 U.S. at 238-39.
The allegations in the affidavit in support of the warrant are sufficient if they would "justify a conclusion that the object of the search is probably on the premises." Lane v. State, 971 S.W.2d at 751 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1998, pet. ref'd).
The fact that an informant's "veracity" is not explicitly noted in the affidavit is not fatal to the ultimate determination of probable cause to search appellant's property. See Barton v. State, 962 S.W.2d 132, 137-38 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1997, pet. ref'd).
The informant's "basis of knowledge" may be sufficient to make up for any "veracity" deficiency. See id.
In Lockett v. State, 879 S.W.2d 184, 189 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, pet. ref'd), the challenged warrant was applied for on March 12, 1991 and executed on March 15. 879 S.W.2d at 186-87.
The affidavit in support of the warrant contained information from two confidential informants who had known the appellant for several years and observed firearms in his residence in October 1990 and November 1990 respectively, and from the appellant's parole officer who had seen a gun cabinet in appellant's residence in December 1990.
The appellate court overruled the appellant's staleness challenge, holding that the affidavit presented the magistrate with information from which it could conclude that the appellant was in continuous possession of firearms over an extended period. Id. at 189.