Criminal-Defense Tip: Do Not Answer the Door Holding Contraband

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You won't be able to read the full text of this article if (like me) you don't have premium access to the New Jersey Law Journal. On the other hand, you don't need to.

Warrantless Search Legal Where Suspect Answers Door With Joint

If the first sentence is too small to read, and in case you're too lazy or too stoned to click to enlarge the picture, here's what it says:

Smoking pot while answering one's front door, then tossing the evidence when seeing it's the police, creates probable cause to search under the plain-view and exigent-circumstances doctrines, the state Supreme Court says.

Quick summary of the plain-view doctrine: if the evidence is in plain view, and the officer didn't do something illegal to get the necessary view (example: he was standing outside your front door and you brought the evidence out to him), your motion to suppress evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds will fail.

Quick summary of the exigent-circumstances doctrine: if a reasonable person would believe that action was necessary to prevent harm to a person or property, destruction of evidence, or an escape (example: you try to dispose of evidence in full view of an officer and then—I'm guessing here—run back inside), your motion to suppress evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds will fail.

As I've said more than once, I personally think marijuana should be legal, but until it is, please take note of the rules above.