Lebedun v. Commonwealth

In Lebedun v. Commonwealth, 27 Va. App. 697, 710-11, 501 S.E.2d 427, 433-34 (1998), the Court addressed which party has the burden of proof when a defendant moves to suppress evidence that was seized pursuant to a search warrant. The Court held that the government bears the burden to justify a warrantless search as an exception to the warrant requirement. However, a presumption of validity attaches when a search is conducted pursuant to a warrant issued by a neutral and detached magistrate or judicial officer. Therefore, where the police conduct a search pursuant to a judicially sanctioned warrant, the defendant must rebut the presumption of validity by proving that the warrant is illegal or invalid. Id. at 711, 501 S.E.2d at 434.