Free Consultation

1.800.TEAMLAW
1.800.832.6529

New Jersey
Motorcycle
Attorney

andrew-prince

 

New Jersey Law Now Permits Car Search If Police Have Probable Cause to Believe That The Vehicle Contains Contraband or Evidence of Crime.

State v. Witt __ NJ __ (2015) Warrantless Auto Search Permitted on Probable Cause

By: Andrew S. Prince, Esq.
Attorney
1-(800)-TEAM-LAW (832-6529)

The New Jersey Supreme Court Held: exigent-circumstances standard set forth in Pena-Flores is unsound in principle and unworkable in practice. Citing Article I, Paragraph 7 of New Jersey’s State Constitution, the court returns to the standard articulated in State v. Alston, 88 N.J. 211 (1981), for warrantless searches of automobiles based on probable cause. The automobile exception authorizes the warrantless search of an automobile only when the police have now probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband or evidence of an offense and the circumstances giving rise to probable cause are unforeseeable and spontaneous.
In this appeal, the court addresses the constitutional standard governing an automobile search and considers whether to continue to follow the standard set forth in State v. Pena-Flores, 198 N.J. 6 (2009).
The Appellate Division granted the State’s motion for leave to appeal and affirmed the suppression of the gun “because of the utter absence of any “exigency” to support the warrantless search that occurred,” and “because there was no justification for this motor vehicle stop.” State v. Witt, 435 N.J. Super. 608, 610-11 (App. Div. 2014). The panel declined to address the State’s argument that it has proved to be unworkable and has led to unintended negative consequences,” explaining that, as an intermediate appellate court, “it had no authority to replace Pena-Flores with some other legal principles.”
Although the court determines the exigent-circumstances standard set forth in State v. Cooke, 163 N.J. 657 (App. Div. 2000) and Pena-Flores is unsound in principle and unworkable in practice, it does not adopt the federal standard for automobile searches because it is not fully consonant with the interests embodied in Article I, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey State Constitution.
The court returns to the Alston standard, which states that the automobile exception authorizes the warrantless search of an automobile only when the police have probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband or evidence of an offense and circumstances giving rise to probable cause are unforeseeable and spontaneous. The court’s decision limits the automobile exception to on-scene warrantless searches, unlike federal jurisprudence, which allows a police officer to conduct a warrantless search at headquarters merely because the officer could have done so on the side of the road.
The court’s decision is a new rule of law to be applied prospectively. Therefore, for purposes of this appeal, Pena-Flores is the governing law. However, going forward, the exigent-circumstances test in Cooke and Pena-Flores no longer applies and the standard set forth in Alston for warrantless searches of automobiles based on probable cause governs.
Please call Andrew S. Prince, Esq. at (800) TEAM-LAW or (800) 832-6529 for help from New Jersey attorney who understands your needs and lifestyle.
Andrew S. Prince, Esq.
TEAM-LAW
136 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066

(732) 388-5454
1 (800) 832-6529
(732) 388-8711 — Fax
[email protected]
Additional Offices in New Jersey
Edison, East Brunswick, Jersey City,
Newark, Orange, Perth Amboy, Westfield
and West New York

Is it Too Cold to Ride My Motorcycle?

Just because the calendar has told you it’s winter doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to put your motorcycle into storage and forget about it until the spring. Some motorcycle enthusiasts might wonder how cold is too cold to ride? What Are You Comfortable With? First and foremost, your preferences matter when it comes to[…]

Watch Out for the Motorcyclist!

By:  Andrew S. Prince, Esq.Attorney1-(800)-TEAM-LAW (832-6529)[email protected]  Call With Any Questions or Concerns! Motorcycles are more difficult to see than larger passenger vehicles.  When sharing the roadway with a motorcyclist, it is important that you drive safely and cautiously to prevent causing an accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle[…]

How Do I Prepare My Motorcycle for Winter?

Whether you plan to put your motorcycle away for the winter season, or you intend to ride it occasionally on warmer days, it is important to prepare it for winter. You can prepare your motorcycle for winter with the following steps: Give it a Thorough Cleaning Even if you rode your motorcycle only once during[…]

The Ins and Outs of Motorcycle Insurance Can Be Confusing – Andrew Prince Will Review Your Policy for Free

Client
Testimonials

FREE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT & INJURY CONSULTATION