September 22, 2008
N.J. high court considering warrantless car searches
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
New Jersey's Supreme Court heard arguments today on when police can conduct searches of cars without a warrant.
The high court is considering two cases in which people were pulled over by police for driving infractions. In one, a search turned up a loaded handgun, drugs and a 28-inch sword.
In the other, dozens of bags of marijuana and a gun were found. Both searches were found to be improper by state appeals courts.
Police in New Jersey must show there is probable cause to search a car without a warrant. They also have to show there is a safety risk to them or the public.
The state argued that New Jersey should adopt the federal standard, which only requires that police believe there is contraband in a car.