In this archive episode, Dennis discusses arrests on Title 39 violations. Recorded on 11/09/2017.
May a police officer arrest any person who violates, in the officers presence, any provision of Chapter 3 or 4 of title 39?
No, although 39:5-25 imposes no limits on an officer’s authority to arrest for traffic offenses, the statute not be read literally. There are “Other sources of law” that suggest that an officer’s authority to arrest under 39:5-25 is, and should be, restricted to those offenses in which , “AN ARREST IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY OR TO ASSURE THAT THE OFFENDER WILL RESPOND TO A SUMMONS!” (SOMEONE WITH NO IDENTIFCATION and YOU CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHO THEY ARE!)
Court Rules 3:4-1; 3:3-1(c); 7:2-3(b) which set forth guidelines for officers who have made warrantless arrests in determining whether to apply to the court for a summons or an arrest warrant.
1. GENERAL RULE: A mere inquiry needs NO constitutional justification.
A law enforcement officer needs no constitutional justification to approach an individual on the street or in another public place and ask if the individual is willing to answer some questions, and to ask the individual questions if he is willing to listen. See Florida v. Royer, 103 S. Ct. 1319 (1983.); State v. Davis, 104 N.J. 490 (1986).