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State v. Rivera

Decided: October 14, 1994.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DOMINGO RIVERA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court, Law Division, Camden County.

Before Judges Gaulkin, Kestin and A. A. Rodriguez.

Kestin

[276 NJSuper Page 347] The opinion of the court was delivered by

KESTIN, J.A.D.

Defendant was convicted of possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of a school. He was sentenced to a five-year term of imprisonment on the merged convictions with three years of parole ineligibility. DEDR and VCCB penalties of $1000 and $30 respectively were imposed, along with a $50 lab fee and a six-month suspension of driver's license.

On appeal, defendant raises the following issues:

POINT I DURING JURY SELECTION, THE PROSECUTOR IMPROPERLY STRIKED [sic] MINORITY JURORS, THEREBY VIOLATING THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL JURY.

POINT II THE TRIAL COURT IMPERMISSIBLY PREVENTED DEFENSE COUNSEL FROM CROSS-EXAMINING THE STATE'S WITNESS MR. GROVE GIPPLE, WITH RESPECT TO MR. GIPPLE'S PENDING CHARGES, THEREBY VIOLATING THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO CONFRONT AND CROSS-EXAMINE WITNESSES WHO TESTIFY AGAINST HIM.

POINT III THE TRIAL COURT JUDGE IMPERMISSIBLY ALLOWED THE ARRESTING OFFICER TO TESTIFY ON HEARSAY EVIDENCE FROM AN INFORMANT, AS TO THE DESCRIPTION OF AN ALLEGED DRUG TRAFFICKER, THEREBY REQUIRING A REVERSAL OF THE INSTANT CONVICTION.

POINT IV THE SEARCH OF DEFENDANT IN A PRIVATE RESIDENCE, WITHOUT A SEARCH WARRANT AND WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE WAS ILLEGAL, AND THE EVIDENCE ILLEGALLY SEIZED SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUPPRESSED.

A. THE DEFENDANT'S FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHT WAS VIOLATED WHEN THE POLICE SEARCHED A PRIVATE RESIDENCE WITHOUT A WARRANT.

B. THERE WERE NO EXIGENT AND EMERGENT CIRCUMSTANCES TO JUSTIFY A WARRANTLESS SEARCH OF THE PRIVATE HOME.

C. THE DEFENDANT'S FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS WERE VIOLATED, BECAUSE HE WAS ILLEGALLY SEARCHED ...


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