Can the police legally search me or my property to find drugs?
New Jersey police officers typically can’t search your property for evidence of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or other illegal drugs without either a search warrant or probable cause for the search. This means that police would need probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. In the absence of probable cause, police must believe that there are exigent circumstances requiring an immediate search. (E.g., the drug evidence will disappear if police have to wait for a warrant before conducting the search.) Without either probable cause or exigent circumstances, law enforcement may have to get a warrant issued by a judge before they can search you or your property for drugs.
The specifics of the police search of you or your property could have significant implications for the outcome of your case. That’s because NJ drug crime cases can potentially involve constitutional issues. Depending on the circumstances of your drug arrest, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to raise strong defenses on your behalf. These defenses could include challenging the legality of the police search of your property and any seizure of drug evidence stemming from that search. If law enforcement did not obtain a warrant prior to conducting the search, or if they did not have probable cause to conduct the search without a warrant, it might be possible to get the evidence against you declared inadmissible at trial.
Talk to an Experienced South Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Drug Possession Charges in Atlantic County or Cape May County, NJ
You have a lot to lose if you are convicted of a serious drug offense in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor, Hammonton, or anywhere else in South Jersey. Depending on your exact charges, you could be looking at a prison sentence and a permanent criminal record that can stay with you for the rest of your life. Do not try to fight your charges alone. You need to speak with a skilled criminal lawyer who understands the NJ criminal justice system and who knows how to help defendants fight drug crime charges in New Jersey superior courts and municipal courts.
John W. Tumelty is a former New Jersey state and Atlantic County prosecutor who won’t back down from a fight in the courtroom. In fact, opposing prosecutors respect Mr. Tumelty’s tenacity and are often willing to offer favorable plea deals to his clients in drug offense cases. Additionally, Mr. Tumelty has successfully challenged police search & seizure procedures in drug cases and got the evidence against his clients ruled inadmissible at trial. Call Mr. Tumelty today to discuss your case over the phone or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation at the firm’s office in Atlantic City, NJ.