The Community Caretaking Exception: New Jersey Law

The New Jersey Supreme Court has also recognized the existence of the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement. Most of these scenarios concern fact patterns where individuals are driving extremely slow late at night leading officers to believe something is wrong. In these situations, it is reasonable for officers to believe that something is wrong with the car, something is wrong Continue Reading...

The Community Caretaking Exception to the Warrant Requirement: Federal Law

The United States Supreme Court first created the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement in the case of Cady v. Dombrowski, 413 U.S. 433 (1973). This case involved a drunk driving investigation by members of a local police department in Wisconsin. The defendant in this case was a Chicago police officer who had been involved in an accident. The vehicle he was using had become Continue Reading...

New Jersey Law Regarding Impoundment of Vehicles and Inventory Searches

The New Jersey view on impounding vehicles and inventory searches concerns the procedures surrounding the impoundment of a motor vehicle. New Jersey police must give the driver of the car a reasonable opportunity to make arrangements for the care of the vehicle before the police may impound it and conduct an inventory search. This rule applies regardless of whether the driver is to be taken into Continue Reading...

Document Searches During Motor Vehicle Stops

Under New Jersey law, there is no exception to the warrant requirement that will justify a search of a motor vehicle for driving credentials. Absent a specific recognized exception to the warrant requirement (such as a search incident to arrest or consent search), police may not conduct vehicle searches to locate a motorist's driver's license, registration, insurance card, or other necessary Continue Reading...

Search for Vehicle Identification Numbers

The United States Supreme Court has authorized exterior searches for vehicle identification numbers (VIN). This issue was analyzed in New York v. Class, 475 U.S. 106 (1986). In this case, New York City police officers stopped a vehicle for speeding. The vehicle also had a cracked windshied which is a violation of New York law. The defendant exited the vehicle and provided the police with proof of Continue Reading...