Texas Stamp


PD-0322-21 09/15/2021

“Whether the search warrant was facially valid because it incorporated the warrant affidavit, which specifically listed Appellant’s room as containing narcotics.”

After a fatal overdose at a fraternity house, police obtained a search warrant after having seen drugs in plain view in both common areas and bedrooms during earlier protective sweeps. Police found two types of drugs in Patterson’s bedroom, and he was charged accordingly.  The trial court denied Patterson’s motion to suppress. Patterson thereafter pleaded guilty.

Patterson claimed on appeal that the warrant was not sufficiently particular because it did not describe his bedroom within the fraternity house. The court of appeals sided with Patterson.  It held that, because Patterson had an expectation of privacy in his room, the warrant should have described his bedroom. Describing only the entire house, in the court’s view, was as deficient as a general warrant.

The State challenges the court of appeals’ opinion on the facts. It argues that the warrant affidavit, which was expressly incorporated into the warrant as supporting documentation, listed Patterson’s room number and a description of the suspected drugs therein. And, even if it is deficient, good faith reliance under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 38.23(b) should apply.

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