Search and Seizure: Warrant Exceptions

The Meeting
Marie Bashkirtseff (1858 - 1884)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
On September 13, 2012, Bayonne police charged two men with various drug-related offenses, as reported by Press reports indicate a silver four-door BMW allegedly stopped at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway at about 6:15 p.m. Plainclothes detectives allegedly saw the driver, later identified as Andrew Harrison, and a suspect on the corner, later identified as Dino Defino, engage in a hand-to-hand drug transaction, according to

After stopping Harrison at the corner of 32nd Street and Avenue E, police searched the thirty-seven year old and his silver BMW, reported The police seized an alleged 51 pills of suspected oxycodone, according to

Meanwhile police also stopped Defino while walking on 12th Street. A search of the thirty-three year old resulted in the seizure of an alleged bag of vegetation suspected to be marijuana, and suspected oxycodone pills, as reported by

Law enforcement authorities filed charges against Harrison for possession of oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute, according to the media.

Defino was charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams, possession with intent to sell, possession of oxycodone, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, and possession within a 1,000 feet of a school.

New Jersey law presumes a search by police of Constitutionally protected areas without a warrant to be invalid. The remedy for an invalid search is suppression of the evidence. When the facts fall within an exception to the warrant requirement, however, the court allows the state to use the evidence at trial.

Some questions to rule out any exceptions to the warrant requirement might include:
  • What actions did police observe before arresting both men?
  • Where were the police positioned when they observed these things?
  • What direction were the police facing?
  • How far apart were the police and the two men?
  • What other surrounding circumstances were present?
  • Did police obtain a warrant before searching the BMW?
  • How many police stopped Harrison?
  • What circumstances lead up to the search of the BMW?
  • How many police stopped Defino?
  • What else did the police seize as evidence?

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding Search and Seizure. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

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