Daniels v. Commonwealth (P)

The plain language and purpose of Code § 19.2-54 is to provide sufficient notice to the defendant of the basis for the issuance of the search warrant. It is a not a penal statute that must be construed strictly against the Commonwealth. Here, although the affidavit was delivered to the circuit court by the officer who executed the search warrant rather than by the magistrate who issued it, the notice-based purpose of Code § 19.2-54 was achieved. Thus, the circuit court did not err in denying the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from the search of his apartment.

Also, the warrantless seizure of contraband observed in the defendant’s vehicle was supported by the plain view exception to the warrant requirement. The investigator immediately recognized a bundle of heroin based on his years of training and experience, as well as through his investigation into a heroin overdose at the time. He also had reliable information that the defendant was selling heroin in wax paper bags with red stamps and had personally seen the defendant in the car.


Daniels v. Commonwealth (P), No. 1351-17-1, Nov. 6, 2018. CAV (Humphreys) from Williamsburg/James City (Maxfield).

Categories: Court of Appeals of Virginia, Opinions, Published

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