A successful New Jersey criminal defense attorney must avail himself to every possible tool in fighting a criminal charge. One of the most useful of these tools is the motion to suppress evidence.
A very helpful case was recently decided by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case State v. Edmonds. An opinion written by a former criminal defense attorney, Justice Albin suppressed a handgun found hidden in a sofa in the defendant’s apartment.
In this case the Carteret Police Department acting on an “unverified 9-11 call” (this wouldn’t be the first time that the police made the bogus call to get inside an apartment), knocked on the door of the defendant’s apartment claiming that someone called saying that domestic violence was occurring in the apartment which included the use of a handgun. When the police arrived the female residence of the apartment said that there was no domestic violence in the apartment, and that her son was inside the apartment. Against her will the police under the pretext of being concerned for the son entered the apartment and began to look around. Hearing a T.V. on in a closed room, the police entered and saw Mr. Edmonds calmly sitting down watching T.V. However, they frisked him and started to search the room in which they found a handgun under the sofa.
Because there was no exception to the search warrant requirement, specifically, the community-caretaking or emergency-aid doctrine the court suppressed the handgun. The court noted at that point the Carteret police needed a warrant based on probable cause. The court pointed out that all warrantless searches of homes are presumptively unreasonable and are subjected to particularly careful scrutiny.
As pointed out in my previous blogs sometimes the best opportunity to win a criminal case is with filing pretrial motions. The motion to suppress evidence is the most powerful of these motions because once the evidence is suppressed there is no case. In this case, once the handgun was suppressed the criminal charge of possession of a weapon was dismissed.
If you are charged with a handgun or weapons offense you must consult with an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney. The law firm of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., has represented hundreds of defendants charged with various weapons and handgun offenses. The law firm has represented individuals in almost every county in the State of New Jersey, including, Union, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Bergen, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer, Burlington, Gloucester, Cumberland, Atlantic, Sussex and Hunterdon counties.
October 15, 2012
Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
Office No. (908) 354-7006
Cell No. (201) 240-5716
Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
277 North Broad Street
P.O. Box 261
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207