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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2

    Question Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Iowa

    In June of 2018, a search of my home was conducted by local law enforcement, with a warrant. The warrant was for all buildings at the correct address but with the wrong name. The warrant had the wrong last name but had been my name previously. The warrant stayed that on three separate dates the police had collected my trash and found evidence indicating the the sell of narcotics. The things collected were what was used as probable cause to obtain the warrant. The cops found 2 THC edibles in the search. I was charged with possession of a controlled substance- 2nd offense.
    I have since come to find out that the police are using a private business to collect the trash. In my town you have to pay for trash removal thru a private business. One of the employees of T's Trash Service told me that the police are using T's trash service to get people trash. He said he's done this. He will come in to work and be handed an address, told that when he gets to that address to pick up the trash, throw it in the compactor, then immediately go meet the officers at another location, not the police station. Is this legal?
    I pay privately for T's trash to come remove my trash. And isn't there some kind of guidelines for how evidence is connected? These trash guys aren't part of the police force and haven't been trained on collecting evidence. How can this be used as probable cause?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,616

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    It might be enough for an arrest but it might not be enough for a conviction if the chain of evidence was improper.

    I suggest you hire a lawyer who is experienced in evidence suppression.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,702

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    When you place your trash out at the curb for collection, there is no expectation of privacy and they can take it without a warrant.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,523

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    Unless Iowa extends some right to privacy to trash placed at he curb, you're probably out of luck. Your attorney will know for certain.

    When it comes to the probable cause necessary for a search warrant, details matter. Your attorney will be privy to the specifics. Work with them.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    These trash guys aren't part of the police force and haven't been trained on collecting evidence. How can this be used as probable cause?
    Contraband was found in your trash, that is enough PC for a Magistrate to issue a Search Warrant. The aftermath of admissibility concerning a taint is of course arguable, especially if that's all you have, as Iowa's Constitution is in line with the Federal 4th concerning abandoned trash.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,069

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    Quote Quoting AlairHerena
    View Post
    Is this legal?
    Yes.


    Quote Quoting AlairHerena
    View Post
    isn't there some kind of guidelines for how evidence is connected?
    It is likely that your local police department has a policy manual.


    Quote Quoting AlairHerena
    View Post
    How can this be used as probable cause?
    I don't really understand the phrasing of this question.

    Obviously, if you want to challenge the validity of the search warrant, you should confer with your defense attorney.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,484

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    Further, the fact they used an older name for you on the warrant is inconsequential.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,702

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    When you place your trash out at the curb for collection, there is no expectation of privacy and they can take it without a warrant.
    If they find evidence that connects you to the property such as a letter addressed to you, they have probable cause that what was found in the trash is yours.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    I'm not questioning the right to take the trash. I'm well aware of the abandonment of trash laws. What I'm questioning in the legality of the police not collecting it themselves but having the trash guys do it for them. It was my understand that evidence of any kind had to be collected and processed by the police. Or that they at least had to be present when it was taken from my trash bin.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,484

    Default Re: Evidence Collected to Obtain Search Warrant

    There's no issue with the police getting others to do their dirty work. They do not need to be present. It does however open up the opportunity to examine the people who collected the garbage-evidence when it comes to trial.

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