NH State Supreme Court Upholds Limited Warrentless Search

Accordingly, we reject the State’s invitation to adopt the federal
automobile exception under the State Constitution. We leave intact the central
holding of Sterndale — that we do not recognize, under Part I, Article 19, the
federal automobile exception as articulated in Ross, 456 U.S. at 825.
Sterndale, 139 N.H. at 449-50.

However, we take this opportunity to recognize a more limited automobile
exception to our warrant requirement. Under that more limited exception, the
police need no warrant to enter an automobile when: (1) the vehicle has been
stopped in transit pursuant to a lawful stop; and (2) the police have probable
cause to believe that a plainly visible item in the vehicle is contraband.

THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE v. DANIEL JESUS CORA

About Steve Mac Donald

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