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Peter A. Crusco

The Fourth Amendment’s warrant clause provides that “no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” U.S. Const. Amend. IV (emphasis supplied). In brief, it was enacted by our founders over 200 years ago to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Today, it remains a significant basis for one of the most frequent challenges made by the defense, that is, to contest the use at trial by the government of evidence seized via a search warrant. At the heart of the challenge is the allegation that the warrant failed to satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s “particularity” requirement.

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