What to do if an initial stop that was followed by a search was not justified?

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What to do if an initial stop that was followed by a search was not justified?

I was pulled over for no appearent reason. Well, the reason was never disclosed to me. The officers walked up to my car. When they got to my window they told me I was fidgety, so they proceeded to unholster their weapons. They were aimed them at me and I was instructed to exit my vehicle. I was then searched. They discovered a gram of marijuana on my person. Then they proceeded to search the car and more marijana was found. Was the initial stop justified which led to the search?

Asked on February 25, 2014 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Probable cause, which is a reasonable belief that criminal activity is afoot, would have been required for the police to stop your vehicle.  If the police did not have probable cause, your vehicle could not have been stopped under the circumstances and the marijuana found on you and in your vehicle would be inadmissible evidence.  It would be advisable to contact a criminal defense attorney.

If the police had probable cause to stop your vehicle, then the marijuana found on you and in your vehicle would be admissible evidence.  If the police had probable cause to stop your vehicle and had a reasonable belief that you were armed, you could be searched and the marijuana found on you would be admissible evidence.  The additional marijuana found in your vehicle would also be admissible evidence.


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