Robert Kraft's Criminal Defense Lawyers File Motion to Suppress Video Evidence from Sneak-and-Peek Warrant

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 02, 2019 | 0 Comments

Defense lawyers for Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots who has been accused of soliciting a prostitute in Florida, have filed a motion to exclude an important piece of evidence in the prosecutor's case: Video surveillance that allegedly shows Mr. Kraft in the massage parlor.

At issue: Whether police infringed on Mr. Kraft's Fourth Amendment rights that prohibit unreasonable searches by law enforcement.

Mr. Kraft's Solicitation Charge Includes Video Evidence

Most people are aware that Robert Kraft, billionaire and owner of a professional football team, was charged with solicitation for allegedly paying for sexual favors in a massage parlor in Florida. Many of those people have heard that there is a video of Mr. Kraft committing the crime of solicitation – in Pennsylvania, the offense of “patronizing prostitutes” that is prohibited by 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5902.

Fewer people, though, are aware of how the police obtained that footage.

Sneak-and-Peek Search Warrants

The police in the case used a “sneak-and-peek” search warrant, though they are officially called delayed notice warrants. Police obtain these warrants in the usual way – by getting a judge or magistrate to sign off on the warrant application – but when they execute a sneak-and-peek warrant, the whole point is that the suspect never knows about them until well afterwards. Instead of knocking on a suspect's door, announcing the search warrant, and then barging in and executing it, police perform a sneak-and-peek warrant without the suspect being warned or even notified.

In many cases, police break and enter a suspect's house or car – a crime, if someone else does it – in order to search the premises.

Many sneak-and-peek warrants are done specifically to try to obtain evidence of a crime that police need but do not have. Essentially, sneak-and-peek warrants allow them to do the search necessary to find the evidence that they would need to justify the search, in the first place.

In Mr. Kraft's case, it appears that police in Florida executed a sneak-and-peek search warrant on a number of massage parlors that they suspected of human trafficking: Officers posed as repairmen and planted cameras in several of the massage rooms to record what happened inside.

Now, Mr. Kraft's defense lawyers are claiming that the methods used were way too invasive for the offense charged – solicitation in Florida is a misdemeanor, but the sneak-and-peek warrant used is usually reserved for felony offenses. Of course, the sneak-and-peek warrant was being executed on the massage parlor to look for a serious offense of human trafficking, not on Mr. Kraft for solicitation, so it remains to be seen whether Mr. Kraft's attorneys will be successful in excluding the video evidence.

Joseph D. Lento: Philadelphia's Criminal Defense Lawyer

Filing a motion to suppress is a common part of a criminal defense strategy, no matter how serious the offense. When police violate your Fourth Amendment rights during their investigation, the evidence that they obtain is supposed to be excluded from court. However, it often takes the advocacy of a criminal defense attorney like Joseph D. Lento to make sure that is what happens.

Contact him online or call his Philadelphia law office at (215) 535-5353 if you have been charged with a crime.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at universities and colleges across the United States while concurrently fighting in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, and New Jersey. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand universities and colleges across the United States. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!


Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.