Right to Refuse Consent to Search in NJ
- January 2, 2013
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When law enforcement officers want to undertake a search, absent exigent circumstances (learn more about exigent circumstances by visiting HeatherDarlingLawyer.com), they are required to obtain a warrant or obtain consent of an individual who has authority over the place or item to be searched. If you are confronted by law enforcement officers, you have a right to refuse consent to search. More importantly, the officers are required to advise you very clearly of your right to refuse consent. The officers should make sure you have enough of an understanding of that right to make a decision as to whether you wish to provide consent or not. In the event officers have the opportunity to advise you of your right to refuse consent but do not do so before you offer consent and a search is undertaken of your property, any evidence discovered through the search may be suppressed. Furthermore, at all times during a search in which you have provided consent, you must be present and aware of your right to stop the search at any time. In order for a consent search to be valid, the officers conducting the search must 1) advise you of your right to refuse consent; 2) insure you are able to watch them conduct the search; 3) make you aware of your right to stop the search at any time; and 4) stop the search immediately in the event you withdraw consent. 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 and believe you were subject to an illegal search, you should consult an experienced criminal law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on consent searches, search and seizure, illegal search, warrantless search, domestic violence, anonymous tips or other criminal law matters, including municipal court matters, in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.