In this older episode, Dennis answers questions on what else to search for inside vehicle trunks as well as charging occupants with drug offenses. Recorded on 07/25/2017.

Related Links:

Maryland v. Pringle 2003 –

State of NJ v. Patino (1980) –

“The discovery of a small amount of marijuana in the passenger compartment gave rise only to an inference that the occupants were casual users, and this furnished no cause to search the trunk where large “Dealer Sized” quantities of drugs would presumably be stored.

“In the absence of other circumstances that suggest participation in drug trafficking or possession of more contraband” such a search could not expand beyond the persons of the occupants or the passenger compartment of the car.”

Ask for Consent or Call a K9 Unit for a sniff.

State V. Letman (1989) Trooper pulls over vehicle and spots plastic bag protruding from under the floor mat containing a 4.6 ounce chunk of a white powdery substance later testing positive for cocaine (Plain View)

Both are arrested, read miranda, and agreed to speak, co-defendants lips were quivering when asked about the bag in the trunk and responded that he did not know what the contents were. (364 Plastic Vials used for packaging found)

Court said – “These are the very types of circumstances that the Patino court referred to, as providing probable cause to search the entire vehicle including the trunk and the interior of the paper bags in the trunk.

Allows an officer, after discovery of contraband, to question a defendant after having read them their Miranda rights.

State v. Letman :: 1989 :: New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division – Published Opinions Decisions :: New Jersey Case Law :: New Jersey Law :: U.S. Law :: Justia