“Challenging Probable Cause”
This is our number one way to fight criminal charges in New Jersey, simply due to the number of cases that we can beat due to lack of probable cause.
Any arrest must be based with sufficient probable cause. In a DWI case, police have to issue field sobriety tests simply to have enough probable cause to give you a breathalyzer test. If these tests are conducted incorrectly, the probable cause doesn’t exist, the breathalyzer result is invalid, and the case should be dismissed.
This comes up constantly. If a police officer says that he smells marijuana in your car, puts you under arrest, and impounds your vehicle for it to be searched, it would be a highly contestable arrest. Without finding marijuana, it is hard to prove that he or she “smelled” imaginary marijuana in your vehicle.
If a police officer responds to a noise complaint, and upon answering your door he invites himself inside, he does not have probable cause to be in your home and anything that results from his illegal presence will be suppressed.
As mentioned earlier, we can challenge the probable cause for warrants. They can be issued without a proper legal basis.
If police stake out your residence looking for drug traffic, they need to have a good reason to be there to begin with. If they see people walking in and out of your home (consistent with drug sale) they still don’t have probable cause. They would need to pull that individual over, catch him or her with drugs, and then get the individual to tell on you before they even have probable cause.
Another question becomes, did they actually have probable cause to pull that person over to begin with?
Searches, motor vehicle stops, and arrests must be based in probable cause. It’s our job to prove that there was none.
Content provided by The Tormey Law Firm…