Motions to Set Aside an Invalid Search by Police
When police conduct a search of a house, car, apartment or someone in violation of the law, the evidence discovered and even the related arrest, may be set aside. The process by which this exclusion from a criminal case is accomplished is referred to as “suppression”. The application to the court to obtain this relief or challenge a search is called a motion to suppress or a suppression motion. The lawyers at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall possess extensive experience with NJ Search Law and routinely succeed in suppressing evidence seized as a result of improper search tactics by police. The attorneys on our defense team have over 100 years of collective experience and include former prosecutors. A lawyer is available now to review your Middlesex County, Union County, Passaic County, Essex County, Morris County, Hudson County, Monmouth County, Bergen County, Ocean County or Mercer County case.
New Jersey Procedures for a Motion to Suppress
When a criminal charge is an Indictable Offense heard in Superior Court, NJ Court Rule 3:5-7 et seq. governs the procedures on how an application to challenge and exclude illegally seized drugs, weapons or other evidence shall be heard (a.k.a. Motion to Suppress). Rule 7:5-2 sets forth the procedure in Municipal Court on how an improper search without a warrant involving a Disorderly Persons Charge may be challenged.
Burden of Proof
Since a warrantless search is presumed invalid, the state bears the burden of establishing that one of the exceptions allowing for a warrantless search applies. The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. What this means is that the prosecution must prove that it is more likely than not that the facts establish an exception allowing for a search without a warrant otherwise a motion to suppress will defeat the search.
Privileges of the Defendant at the Hearing
A defendant enjoys special rights under New Jersey Rule of Evidence 104 when he testifies at a suppression hearing. In this regard, while a defendant may normally be cross-examined as to any aspect of the case if he chooses to testify at trial, cross-examination is limited to the subject matter of the direct testimony at a Suppression Hearing. In addition, the defendant’s testimony at the hearing may not be used against him or her at an eventual trial of the matter.
If you would like to discuss how we can contest a search and exclude evidence obtained by the police in Monmouth County, Union County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Essex County, Hudson County, Morris County, Bergen County, or Mercer County, an attorney is available immediately to assist you at 1-877-450-8301. One of our attorneys will be more than happy to provide the guidance you need concerning challenging your search. A lawyer is available now to discuss exactly how we would go about successfully contesting the actions of the police.