Lack of Consent to Search Permits Withdrawal of Guilty Plea in NJ
- September 29, 2012
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Police received a tip from an informant about two black males selling drugs out of a car belonging to defendant. When police located the vehicle at the location provided, they notified defendant of their belief there were drugs in the trunk and requested permission to search. Upon denial of consent to search, officers proceeded to open the trunk and located the drugs the informant stated they would find. After entering a plea of guilty to two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent to distribute, the defendant moved to withdraw his guilty plea. In spite of the fact defendant may have been notified of his right to file a suppression motion, and that his right would be waived by entering a plea of guilty, defendant chose to plead guilty. Defendant later filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. After the Court below denied the defendant the relief sought, the New Jersey Appellate Court found that the Motion to withdraw the plea should have been granted. Defendant’s appeal was granted on his contention that he did not consent to the search of the trunk of his car. Defendant claimed that he expressly denied consent to open the trunk of the car but the police did not honor his rights. Because the search may have violated defendant’s rights, granting defendant’s motion to withdraw the guilty plea was appropriate. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. If you face criminal charges as a result of an illegal search, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information regarding illegal search and seizure, 4th Amendment rights, drug charges or other criminal law matters, including municipal court matters, in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.