DOES A LAPTOP COME WITHIN THE SCOPE OF A GENERAL SEARCH WARRANT?

Unite States courts have considered the question as to whether a search of a laptop, when such a search is not explicitly referred to in a search warrant, nonetheless falls within the scope of a reasonable search. The courts have found that law enforcement authorities are authorized to search a laptop when the search warrant was particularized enough to potentially include a laptop within its scope, or when there were other indications that a search of a laptop was warranted under the given circumstances.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Is there case law in which the search of a laptop under the warrant that did not specifically refer to the laptop as one of the things or places to be searched was held to be unreasonable?
What precautions can be taken by law enforcement authorities in order to ensure that the fruits of a search conducted on a suspect’s laptop will survive a motion to suppress?
What can serve as an alternative to a search warrant?

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