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Supreme Court Holds Police Dispatcher Misidentification Grounds for Suppressing Evidence

May 27, 2011 | Posted In Recent News

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that evidence obtained as the result of bad information relayed by a police dispatcher will be suppressed.  In a 5-2 ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court called police dispatchers an “integral link in the law enforcement chain“ who must also be held accountable for any wrong information supplied by the dispatcher to the officer in the field.

The ruling relates to the case State v. Handy.  The Appellate Division had earlier ruled that crack cocaine and marijuana that had been seized from a man, who had been mistakenly identified because of wrong and inaccurate information supplied by a police dispatcher to an investigating officer, had to be suppressed.  The Supreme Court has held that the dispatcher’s conduct was “objectively unreasonable.”

With this, the Supreme Court is warning police departments across New Jersey that if any criminal trial evidence is seized as a result of wrong and inaccurate information provided by a dispatcher, then the evidence will be suppressed.

A criminal conviction in New Jersey can mean devastating results for you.  Felony convictions can remain permanently on your record, and even convictions for disorderly persons offenses may remain on your record for a minimum of five years before they can be expunged.  During this period of time, a conviction may interfere with your prospects for higher education, future employment, as well as your personal and social life.

The New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI, assault, murder, sex crimes and other crimes across New Jersey.

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