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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Walker case Police seeing defendant-smoking joint in open door justified...

Police seeing defendant-smoking
joint in open door justified the warrantless entry into defendant’s apartment
and the seizure of the marijuana cigarette.

 State v Walker 213 N.J. 281 (2013)
Although the information contained in the tip was uncorroborated, by the
time the officers knocked at the door of defendant’s apartment, subsequent
events, created by defendant’s own actions, established probable cause and
exigent circumstances which justified an entry into defendant’s apartment.
Thus, the warrantless seizure of the marijuana cigarette and all the CDS found
in defendant’s apartment was proper and permissible under the New Jersey and
federal constitutions. Although the underlying offense here, possession of
marijuana, is a disorderly persons offense, the circumstances indicate that the
officers’ warrantless entry into defendant’s home was objectively reasonable. A
limited entry was necessary to arrest defendant for the disorderly persons
offense and to retrieve the marijuana cigarette. After entering, the officers
saw in the living room CDS and other contraband in plain view. These items were
subject to seizure as well.