Penalties for drug crimes, especially when the charge is possession with intent to sell, drug distribution or drug trafficking, are harsh in New Jersey. Many of these charges result from lengthy police investigations and home raids, but many others result from traffic stops.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides a foundational right to Americans: the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
With the revelations about just how broad and deep government surveillance appears to be in the United States, you may wonder if the right to privacy has simply disappeared. Well, it hasn't disappeared in New Jersey -- at least, not yet.
In 2011, two Woodbridge police detectives had their eye out for a particular Ford Bronco. They had received some calls from concerned citizens claiming that there was an unusual amount of activity at the Bronco owner's apartment, and they suspected drug activity.
One of the more startling aspects of the War on Drugs has been its influence on the relationship between police officers and citizens. Aside from alleged racism in its enforcement, the drug war has turned every encounter between law enforcement and the public into a potential confrontation. Drugs are relatively easy to hide after all, and just about anyone could have them -- and police officers have been told to root out such dastardly villains with every tool at their disposal.