Search and Seizure

By Devanney, Joe; Devanney, Diane | Law & Order, June 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Search and Seizure

Devanney, Joe, Devanney, Diane, Law & Order

In March 2002 the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a decision in State v. Steven J. Carty that imposed strict limits on when consent searches of motorists and motor vehicles can be performed by police.

The case began in 1997 when state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike stopped a car, driven by Leroy Coley, for speeding. Carty was a passenger in the car. Coley agreed to sign a form consenting to a search. He and Carty were then frisked and cocaine was found on Carty.

Carty was subsequently convicted of a drug offense and he appealed. Ultimately, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the conviction, holding that "[C]onsent searches following a lawful stop of a motor vehicle should not be deemed valid ... unless there is reasonable and articulable suspicion to believe that an errant motorist or passenger has engaged in, or is about to engage in, criminal activity."

Much of the court's decision was based on its belief that people often feel compelled to give search consents after being stopped for minor violations. In any event, police, prosecutors and defense lawyers agree that this new standard creates a major limitation on when consent searches are permissible in New Jersey.

The Supreme Court of Missouri in State of Missouri v. Todd Mack recently ruled in favor of local officers in Lincoln County on an issue concerning investigatory stops. On June 24, 1999, the officers set up a drug checkpoint ruse, whereby signs stating that there was a drug enforcement checkpoint one-mile ahead were placed near a highway exit.

The signs intended to mislead drivers into thinking that the checkpoint was at another exit up the road and, if their intent was to avoid the police, take the earlier exit- where the checkpoint really was. Around 11:00 PM, Mack apparently fell into this ruse. The officers saw him swerve suddenly into their checkpoint's off ramp, almost missing the turn. Mack was stopped and found to be very nervous. He also had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Search and Seizure


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?