State v. Salladino: Impact on New Jersey Criminal Law and Admission of Evidence
14-2-1436 State v. Salladino, App. Div. (per curiam) (13 pp.)
On today’s date the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that under the totality of the circumstances the seizure of the “hard bulge” from somewhere on defendant’s person exceeded the permissible scope of a Terry search for weapons and was thus unlawful. The appellate panel agrees that the search was illegal. However, due to other substantial issues regarding the state’s intention to arrest the defendant, the State argues that the evidence was still admissible because its discovery was inevitable when defendant was searched after being arrested for the robbery. The court ruled that the State presented clear and convincing evidence that defendant would have been arrested, wholly independently of the discovery of the hard bulge’ of pills by unlawful means, and the pills would have been discovered in defendant’s possession during a search incident to arrest. Consequently, as the evidence would inevitably have been ‘discovered without the police misconduct, it was admissible and the motion to suppress was erroneously granted. The appellate panel reverses and remands.
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.