On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment Nos. 03-03-0587 and 03-04-0681.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Parker and Gilroy.
Defendant appeals from the August 31, 2006 order of the Law Division, which denied his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
On March 27, 2003 and April 8, 2003, defendant was charged under Indictment Nos. 03-03-0587 and 03-04-0681 with ten counts of having committed various criminal offenses. On June 20, 2003, the trial court denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence. On the same day, defendant entered a negotiated plea.
On Indictment No. 03-03-0587, defendant pled guilty to fourth-degree resisting arrest (Count One). On Indictment No. 03-04-0681, defendant pled guilty to third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (Count Two) and to second-degree possession of a weapon by a previously convicted person (Count Seven). The State agreed to dismiss the remaining counts of both indictments and to recommend an aggregate custodial sentence of thirteen years of imprisonment, with eight years and nine months of parole ineligibility. The plea was without prejudice to defendant filing an appeal from the denial of his suppression motion.
On October 3, 2003, the court denied defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty pleas. On Indictment No. 03-04-0681, defendant was sentenced on his conviction of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute to a mandatory extended term of eight years of imprisonment with a three-year, nine-month period of parole ineligibility; and on his conviction of possession of a weapon by a previously convicted person, defendant was sentenced to a consecutive term of five years of imprisonment, with a five-year period of parole ineligibility. On Indictment No. 03-03-0587, defendant was sentenced on his conviction of resisting arrest to eighteen months of imprisonment, to run concurrent with the sentence imposed under Indictment No. 03-04-0681. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the aggregate custodial sentence was thirteen years, with a period of parole ineligibility of eight years and nine months, and all other charges under the two indictments were dismissed. All appropriate fines and penalties were imposed, as well as a two-year suspension of defendant's driving privileges.
On direct appeal, defendant argued:
POINT I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE BECAUSE THE POLICE CONDUCTED AN ILLEGAL SEARCH.
A. THE SEARCH OF THE INTERIOR OF DEFENDANT'S AUTOMOBILE WAS UNLAWFUL BECAUSE THERE WAS NO PROBABLE CAUSE FOR A WARRANTLESS SEARCH.
B. THE AUTOMOBILE EXCEPTION TO WARRANTLESS SEARCHES FAILS TO APPLY IN THIS CASE.
C. THE PAT DOWN OF DEFENDANT'S PERSON WAS UNLAWFUL.
D. THE WARRANTLESS SEARCH MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A PROTECTIVE SEARCH INCIDENT TO ...