Search Warrants

When Are Police Required to Obtain a Search Warrant?

If you were searched by police, the first thing you need to be aware of is that a warrantless search is presumed unreasonable. It is, in fact, the burden of the prosecutor to demonstrate that some exception to the search warrant requirement applies whenever someone is subjected to a search without a warrant. If you were arrested following a search by police without a warrant, then you need the assistance of a lawyer who knows NJ law inside and out. Our attorneys possess exactly this expertise, having collective experience of over 100 years defending individuals in New Jersey, including years serving as prosecutors. A lawyer will review your Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Passaic County, Union County, Essex County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Hudson County, Morris County, or Bergen County case, and tell you exactly how they can succeed on a Motion to Suppress to invalidate the search. One of our lawyers is available immediately to assist you at 1-877-450-8301.

NJ Law: Warrantless Search

If drugs, weapons or other evidence are seized by police following a warrantless Automobile Search, House or Apartment Search, or some other variety of search, the state must establish that the warrant requirement does not apply. To fulfill this burden, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the evidence was:

  1. in an area to which no constitutional privacy protection existed;
  2. in “plain view,”
  3. abandoned,
  4. seized by a private person so that the warrant does no apply; or
  5. that one of the exceptions to the NJ Search Law applies.

Exceptions to the Requirement that Police Possess a Search Warrant

There are several scenarios which allow police to conduct a search without first obtaining a warrant. Unless the prosecutor demonstrates that an exception applies, a warrantless search is invalid. The exceptions include:

  • Search Incident to Arrest
  • Inventory Search
  • Consent Search
  • Protective Search (e.g. Patdown)
  • Search Supported by Probable Cause & Exigent Circumstances
  • Special Needs Search

  • Road Blocks
  • Community Caretaker Search
  • Emergency Aid Search
  • Regulatory Search
  • Plain View

If you were searched by police and they did not follow the Procedure to Obtain a Warrant or simply never sought a Search Warrant, our lawyers will make sure that your rights were not violated. An attorney is available 24/7 at 1-877-450-8301 to discuss your Monmouth County, Union County, Middlesex County, Passaic County, Essex County, Morris County, Bergen County, Ocean County, or Hudson County case.