State v. Goldsborough
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
This case stems from an appeal from a conviction, specifically a denied motion to suppress evidence. Officers in Cumberland County were executing an arrest warrant on defendant’s house when they approached the front door. There were multiple officers in a line at the front door with the first holding a riot shield. After knocking, the officers announced themselves and that they had an arrest warrant for defendant. The first person who came out claimed that defendant was not there, but was told to wait outside for the protection of the officers. The officers informed the rest of the house that if anyone was still present in the building they should exit. Several people exited, all denying defendant was in the building. The officers yelled into the building a final time and defendant walked downstairs, where he was arrested.
While the officers were arresting defendant, they heard a noise coming from the basement that sounded like crying. In a conflicting testimony, the defendant’s girlfriend claimed that she left her children in the basement at times, but that they were not there when the officers arrested defendant. Assuming there was an emergency, the officers went into the basement and found incriminating evidence sitting out in plain-sight. This evidence was later used in court against defendant. The officers also used the evidence to get a search warrant for the rest of the house, in which they found more evidence used to charge defendant. Defendant moved to appeal his conviction, basing most of his argument on the suppression of the evidence found after what he thought was an unlawful basement search after an arrest warrant.
On February 12th, 2020, the appellate court denied the appeal and motion to suppress evidence. The court reasoned that the officers were allowed to enter the basement due to the crying they heard coming from the basement indicated an emergency situation. The court went on to elaborate the emergency-aid exception to a search warrant. The court also reasoned that due to the evidence being in plain-sight when the officers entered the building, they did not search the basement in order to obtain the evidence.
At Hark & Hark, we thoroughly research our clients matters before basing an appeal on a warrantless claim. We vigorously defend our clients by making sure your conviction is not upheld due to lack of research on an obvious claim. We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing any type of criminal charge, please call us to discuss this matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties.