Yes, according to the Wyoming Supreme Court in Snell v. State, April 9, 2014. The Court says:
We have also emphasized that an affidavit supporting a search warrant is presumed valid, and that it is tested by a less vigorous standard than that for determining admissibility of evidence at trial. Bouch v. State, 2006 WY 122, ¶ 6, 143 P.3d 643, 646 (Wyo. 2006). In order to promote the use of warrants and recognizing that affidavits are not normally prepared by attorneys or legal technicians, this Court will resolve doubtful or marginal cases in favor of the validity of the warrant.
Humph. I would have thought all doubts would be resolved in favor of the Constitutional right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Are Constitutional rights relaxed if someone other than an attorney prepares an affidavit?
I don’t think so. But, that’s just me, I guess.
The Court did go on to find the affidavit in support of the search warrant to be defective because it stated mostly conclusions rather than facts to support those conclusions. Thus, probable cause to suspect the defendant had been driving under the influence was not established, and the warrant and subsequent blood test violated the defendant’s Constitutional rights. Well, good.
Constitutional rights, such as those set forth in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution and in the Constitutions of the states are meant to limit the power of the government and to protect the citizen from government overreach and tyrannical treatment. Resolving doubtful or marginal cases in favor of the government removes the limit on the government and subjects the citizen to tyranny. This judicial practice should be changed and restated to be just the opposite, resolving all reasonable doubt in favor of the citizen. Even non-lawyers can learn how to write an affidavit for a search warrant, in fact most such affidavits are written by police officers who are not lawyers and they generally do a pretty good job of it. If the lazy cop is going to get by with sloppy work because the Courts will fix his doubtful warrant affidavit for him why would she take the trouble to learn how to do it right?
Well, that’s just me, I guess.