Archive for March 2011

NEW JERSEY LAWYERS REVIEW DECISION PROVIDING GUIDANCE ON THE PROBABLE CAUSE DETERMINATIONS FOR AN ARREST AND PROBABLE CAUSE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A SEARCH WARRANT.

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently decided an important case setting forth the evidentiary standards relevant to a probable cause determination on the issuance of a search warrant and the justification for an arrest. While both require a finding of probable cause, the conclusions that justify an arrest and the issuance of a search warrant are not identical. The probable cause requirement for a search warrant and that for an arrest protect different liberty interests. That is, the search warrant requirement protects reasonable and legitimate expectations of privacy against unreasonable intrusion by law enforcement. The probable cause requirement for an arrest warrant, on the other hand, protects against the loss of personal liberty associated with a belief that a person has committed a crime. As many courts have noted, the factual predicates in support of either a search warrant or an arrest may be necessarily the same.

Legal Quote of the Week:

Consequences cannot alter statutes, but may help to fix their meaning.

Benjamin N.Cardozo, In re Rouss, 116 N.E. 782, 785 (1917)