State v. Eckel 185 NJ 523 (2006).
A warrantless search of an automobile based not on probable cause but solely on the arrest of a person unable to endanger police or destroy evidence cannot be justified under any exception to the warrant requirement and is unreasonable. Once the occupant of a vehicle has been arrested, removed and secured elsewhere, the considerations informing the search incident to arrest exception are absent and the exception in inapplicable. If the occupant has been arrested but not removed and secured, the court will have to determine on a case-by-case basis whether the suspect was in a position to compromise police safety or evidence to justify resort to the search incident to arrest exception.
KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817