he Fourth Department, reversing defendant’s conviction, determined the search warrant for defendant’s cell phone was overly broad. Therefore the evidence derived from the cell phone should have been dismissed. The court noted that kidnapping in the second degree is an inclusory concurrent count of kidnapping in the second degree as a sexually motivated felony … and that the court upon retrial should submit to the jury the kidnapping in the second degree count in the alternative only:
A warrant must be “specific enough to leave no discretion to the executing officer” … . To meet the particularity requirement, a warrant must (1) “identify the specific offense for which the police have established probable cause,” (2) “describe the place to be searched,” and (3) “specify the items to be seized by their relation to designated crimes” … . Here, the search warrant simply stated that the police were directed to search defendant’s cellular phone for “digital and/or electronic evidence from August 13, 2016 to August 15, 2016.” The warrant contained no language incorporating any other documents or facts. Significantly, the search of the phone was not restricted by reference to any particular crime. Thus, the search warrant failed to meet the particularity requirement and left discretion of the search to the executing officers … . People v Saeli, 2023 NY Slip Op 04268, Fourth Dept 8-11-23
Practice Point: A search warrant for a cell phone which simply states to search for “digital and/or electronic evidence from August 13, 2016 to August 15, 2016” does not meet the particularity requirement (the warrant is overly broad).
Practice Point: Kidnapping in the second degree is an inclusory concurrent count of kidnapping in the second degree as a sexually motivated felony.