New Jersey Criminal Lawyer – Appellate Opinions – State v. Carvajal

State v. Carvajal, 202 N.J. 214 (2010)

For standing purposes, property is abandoned when a person, who has control or dominion over property, knowingly and voluntarily relinquishes any possessory or ownership interest in the property and when there are no other apparent or known owners of the property. We determined that this definition of abandonment “provides the strongest guarantee that the police will not unconstitutionally search or seize property, which has multiple apparent owners, merely because one person has disclaimed a possessory or ownership interest in that property. The State bears the burden of proving “by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant abandoned the property and therefore has no standing to object to the search.

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