Although discovery normally occurs after criminal charges have been filed under New York’s CPL Article 240, a court in New York, under CPL Article 690, may authorize a search warrant or a wiretap where no charges are pending to allow the prosecution to investigate criminal conduct.
In fact, the prosecution may even obtain bodily samples from the accused prior to filing charges under certain circumstances. Although it is not disputed that a county court does have jurisdiction to issue such an order. A local court, however, would not have jurisdiction to issue such an order.
In the case of a blood sample or fingernail scraping, the prosecution must show a clear indication that the intrusion will supply substantial probative evidence; and the method of obtaining the samples is safe, reliable, and involves no more physical discomfort than reasonably necessary.
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