Drugs Suppressed When Found Outside Scope Of Warrant
- February 10, 2015
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Police executing a no-knock warrant at a residence located Chad Bivins and co-defendant, Sayid Jordan, in a vehicle located several residences away and, upon removing them from the car searching them, discovered 30 bags of crack cocaine on each of them. Bivins sought to have the crack cocaine suppressed based on his location well outside the residence subject to the warrant but the trial court denied the motion holding that defendant’s location was proximate to the residence based on the totality of the circumstances, especially in light of the fact that an officer assigned to the scene located Bivins and co-defendants after receiving a report of individual exiting the residence to be searched. The defendant appealed the denial of the suppression motion in State v. Bivins. The NJ Appellate Division reversed in reliance on a existing laws with regard to the scope of a search warrant. State v. Reldon, 100 N.J. 187 (1985) limits officers to a search of appropriate areas when executing a search. the warrant in question limited police to search the residence and “all persons present reasonably believed to be connected to said property and investigation. The Appellate Division distinguished this from State v. Carolino, 373 N.J. Super. 377 (App..Div. 2004) wherein “any and app persons arriving at, departing from and located [in] the residence and vehicle in question were included in the warrant and both the behavior and proximity of the defendant therein differed greatly from Bivins. Bailey v. United States, ___U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 1031, 185 L. Ed.2d 19 (2013) dictates that specific facts are required to connect an individual to a scene once they have departed premises subject to a warrant. The Appellate Division applied Bailey to the facts including neither the defendant nor the Pontiac in which he was located were described in the affidavit supporting the warrant, he was located a substantial distance outside the residence to be searched, the officer who searched the defendant received no report that the individuals fled the premises with evidence sought under the warrant being executed and the defendant did not act in a suspicious manner. The Appellate Division found that upholding the search would afford officers executing warrants overly broad discretion and therefore reversed the denial of the suppression motion. Drug charges, particularly distribution charges, have serious consequences including substantial terms of incarceration and enhanced penalties under certain circumstances. If you are facing drug charges and believe evidence obtained against you may have been obtained in violation of your rights, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. For more information about controlled dangerous substances (CDS), warrantless searches, distribution of CDS, possession, CDS in a motor vehicle or other criminal issues in NJ visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.