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Warrantless Searches Before Court

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
New Jersey's Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case that could fundamentally alter the manner in which police conduct traffic stops and searches.

The high court is considering two cases in which police pulled over motorists for driving violations and, in subsequent searches, found drugs and weapons. Both searches were found to be improper by state appeals courts because police did not obtain search warrants.

At issue is a state law that requires police to show probable cause but also demonstrate there is a safety risk to them or the public before they conduct a warrantless search.

The state argued New Jersey should move closer to a federal standard that only requires police believe there is contraband in a car to conduct a search.

"This court has been consistent for 40 years, and suddenly we're going to pull the rug out for policy reasons?" Stephen Kirsch, an assistant deputy state public defender, asked the justices. "The sky is not falling here. Retain the test you have now, because by and large, it is working."

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Susswein countered that forcing police to obtain search warrants can be impractical in many situations and can result in lengthier detainment for suspects.

"Judges are not standing by 24/7 to authorize warrants to cops on the road," he said. "Which is more intrusive? A five-minute search of a passenger cabin based on probable cause, or arresting the people, handcuffing and searching them and transporting them?"

In one of the two cases, a man was stopped in Camden in 2003 for driving without a seat belt. Police discovered he was using a fictitious license and then searched the car, finding a handgun, sword and drugs.

Charles Fuller's drug conviction was later thrown out by the state appeals court.

Justice Virginia Long said yesterday the onus should be on the judicial system to be more responsive in providing search warrants.

"The answer is that the judge needs to be available, not that we dispense with the need for a warrant," Long said.

Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto asked why New Jersey should have a higher standard than the federal government when the Constitution contains protections against illegal searches and seizures.

He also questioned whether a police search based on evidence in plain view - for instance, a bag of marijuana or a gun on the back seat of a car - that provides probable cause for a further search amounts to a "warrant substitute."

"If he's likely to get a warrant, are we putting in a procedural obligation that's unnecessary?" the Rivera-Soto asked.

"If getting a warrant is an extreme burden, then it's an extreme burden that the Constitution envisioned," Kirsch replied. "I don't think the answer has ever been, 'It was so easy to get a warrant that we didn't bother."'


News Hawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Philly.com
Author: David Porter
Copyright: 2008 Philadelphia Enquirer
Contact: Feedback - philly.com
Website: Warrantless searches before court | Philadelphia Inquirer | 09/23/2008
 

RooRman

Well-Known Member
A "warrent-less search" is a clear violation of your fourth amendment rights, plain and simple. As such, a "warrent-less search" is simply a synonym for illegal search and seizure which, if practiced, the courts have every legal duty to dismiss.
 

Weed420

New Member
Yeah My personal opinion is a warrant should always be required if an officer has reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed. Thats what a judge is for. To stand between a suspect and the nazi police force to make sure civil rights are not violated. Take the judge out and you have anarchy.
 

hood1

New Member
If you wear too much after shave some cops consider this probable cause they say it is a masking agent??!! The only rights we will have are the ones we fight for!!
 

Keith Lake

420 Emeritus
420 Staff
"Judges are not standing by 24/7 to authorize warrants to cops on the road," he said. "Which is more intrusive? A five-minute search of a passenger cabin based on probable cause, or arresting the people, handcuffing and searching them and transporting them?"

This is the fallacious argument known as a false dillema, arguing that there are only two choice; in this case bad or worse.

The obvious third choice would be restrict the use of intimidation to weasle an illegal search.
 

zolar

New Member
isn't globialization great our cops are taking lessons from the KGB

and apparently the constitution only applies to rich people......

just like those bannnanna land republics
 
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