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Search And Seizure Law In New Jersey


New Jersey Search and Seizure Attorney

The search and seizure of a person’s body, automobile, or house for drugs and weapons is an area of the law in which police constantly overstep boundaries. When executing a search warrant for an individual’s home, search incident to arrest, or a search incident to a traffic stop in New Jersey, police must follow very particular guidelines and any deviation can result in the suppression of evidence at trial. My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, criminal defense attorney and if you have been subjected to a search and seizure, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced lawyer immediately. I regularly obtain dismissals by asserting constitutional defenses for my clients, and if your rights have been violated by a search and seizure in New Jersey, I will make sure that your rights are fully exercised. For a free and confidential consultation, contact my firm at 908-272-9700 today.

My law office defends individuals throughout New Jersey including Ocean County, Monmouth County, Essex County, Hudson County, Middlesex County and Union County in Elizabeth, Cranford, Westfield, Plainfield, Linden, Garwood, Clark, Mountainside, Fanwood, Berkeley Heights, Roselle, Roselle Park, and Rahway.

Understanding NJ Search Law

When police fail to follow legal safeguards, all evidence stemming from the violation cannot be used at trial. Generally, the law requires that police obtain a search warrant before conducting a search, but there are certain exceptions in which warrants are not required. It is usually when police are executing these exceptions that most violations take place because safeguards are at their most sensitive.

Exceptions to the search warrant requirement include:

  • Automobile Searches
  • Investigatory and Protective Searches
  • Consent Searches
  • Plain View Searches
  • Exigent Circumstances
  • Automobile Searches

In order to search an individual’s car, police must have both probable cause to make the stop and probable cause to search the car. If you are stopped for a minor traffic violation and a search is later conducted, police may not have had the right to conduct the search. If this is the case, any evidence obtained cannot be used against you.

Investigatory and Protective Searches

A police officer can make an investigatory stop if he has a reasonable and particularized suspicion of criminal activity. If the police officer finds a reason to suspect the suspect of being armed and dangerous, the officer may then conduct a pat down for weapons. If the officer goes beyond the scope of the search by looking in areas where a weapon cannot conceivably be found, the evidence may be barred at trial.

Consent Searches

In order to have a valid consent search, consent must be voluntary, the person must be authorized to give consent, and the search must be limited to the area consented to. If any of these requirements are not met, the evidence may be suppressed at trial.

Plain View Searches

Though in many cases, plain sight is enough for probable cause, often times police will search areas of the home or property that are not in plain sight in violation of an individual’s rights. When this happens all evidence obtained cannot be used at trial.

Exigent Circumstance Searches

Exigent circumstances may excuse the need for the police to obtain a warrant. An exigent circumstance is one in which police do not need a warrant because the suspect or the evidence will probably disappear. Courts will consider a number of factors when determining if exigency existed.

NJ Search and Seizure Defense

If you have been subjected to a search and seizure, I urge you to consult an experienced attorney about your rights. Based on how the search was carried out, your charge may warrant a dismissal. At the least a violation may be used to negotiate for lesser penalties. For a free and confidential consultation, contact me at 908-272-9700 today.