State v. Cooke, 63 N.J. 657 (2000)

We emphasize that there is a constitutional preference for a warrant, issued by a neutral judicial officer, supported by probable cause. “The cautionary procedure of procuring a warrant ensures that there is a reasonable basis for the search and that the police intrusion will be reasonably confined in scope. The automobile exception applies only in cases in which probable cause and exigent circumstances are evident, making it impracticable for the police to obtain a warrant.

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