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Stopped For Drug Search By A New Jersey Police Officer Can He Just Do That?

Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.


I was recently surfing the net when I came across a a news story of a motorist in New Jersey being pulled over in his car and searched by the police for drugs. In New Jersey this is a common everyday occurrence that many motorists experience. A lot of the possession of cocaine, heroin and other drug charges originate from police executed motor vehicle stops.

According to the motorist, who happens to be a semi-famous Rapper/Activist in New Jersey, he pulled over to the side of the Street in a residential neighborhood, and exchanged handshakes with a friend before driving off. The police stopped his car, removed him from the vehicle and searched both him and his car but found nothing.

The frustration for many New Jersey citizens lies in the lack of legally valid reasons for the police stop in the first place. The police in New Jersey cannot just stop you on the street or in you car without a reason or for just any reason. The State of New Jersey, by law, has to protect a person’s constitutional right to be free of illegal searches and seizures. What this means for you as a motorist, is that the police cannot stop your car and detain you unless they have a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” that you committed a motor vehicle violation or some other violation of the law. For example, a handshake between friends on a residential street, alone, is not going justify a police executed stop and search of your car.

I have seen so many police executed motor vehicle stops and searches of cars that eventually produce the recovery of drugs, guns or other weapons. The fact remains, however, that the evidence cannot be used against you in Court where the police did not have a valid reason to stop you in the first place. Under New Jersey and Federal Constitutional law, the ends do not justify the means.

If you have been charged in New Jersey with Possession of drugs (cocaine, marijuana or heroin), or possession of a weapon, you may have grounds to suppress the evidence. Suppression of the evidence requires the filing of a motion in court by an experienced criminal lawyer and a testimonial hearing.

If you are charged with a crime in New Jersey, the law firm of Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC has the experience to protect your rights. We are former Prosecutors who have handled thousands of criminal motions and can immediately tell you if the police in your case acted improperly.

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