On March 13, 2017, Louis P. Nappen of the Evan F. Nappen Law Attorney At Law PC firm argued that a handgun discovered in his client’s glove box after a car accident cannot be used as evidence since the firearm was unconstitutionally obtained by police who entered the car without a warrant or Fourth Amendment exception.
In its March 16, 2017 decision, Burlington County Superior Court Judge Philip E. Haines agreed.
After the accident, while defendant Michael Jones was outside of his car being treated by EMTs, police asked Jones for his license, registration and insurance. Police, however, were required to give Jones a reasonable opportunity to retrieve these documents from his car before they entered his vehicle. The testimony at the motion hearing made it clear that police did not ask Jones to retrieve the documents himself, nor was Jones unable or unwilling to do so. Accordingly, all items found after police warrantlessly opened Jones’ car door was deemed inadmissible as evidence.
“I’m extremely happy to see that the Fourth Amendment still holds weight in New Jersey,” said Attorney Louis Nappen regarding the decision. “And my client wants his case to be known as a beacon for others who fight for their rights, and in the hope that other people will not have to suffer this same type of ordeal.”