NY2: SW for def’s cell phone browser history lacked PC, but here it was harmless error

“The defendant correctly contends that the police search of his browsing history and URLs of his Blackberry cell phone was not authorized by the search warrant obtained by the police. ‘To establish probable cause, a search warrant must provide sufficient information to support a reasonable belief that evidence of a crime may be found in a certain place’ …. Here, the affidavit of the detective failed to establish a reasonable belief that evidence of the crimes would be found in the browsing history and URLs of the defendant’s Blackberry cell phone inasmuch as there were no allegations regarding the defendant’s use of the Internet …. However, the violation of the defendant’s constitutional right was harmless error, as the evidence of the defendant’s guilt was overwhelming, and there was no reasonable possibility that the error contributed to the defendant’s conviction.” People v. Branch, 2024 NY Slip Op 01018, 2024 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1070 (2d Dept. Feb. 28, 2024).

During defendant’s traffic stop, while running his name, the officer found out about his violent criminal history. Before defendant was allowed to go back to the car for more paperwork, it was reasonable to pat him down for officer safety, and he wasn’t in custody. State v. Owens, 2024 La. App. LEXIS 331 (2d Cir. Feb. 28, 2024).*

The search warrant here was issued on probable cause to believe there were drugs in the house, and there’s no requirement that the officer have actual knowledge drugs are there. United States v. Milner, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33898 (D. Conn. Feb. 21, 2024).*

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