STATE OF NEW JERSEY IN THE INTEREST OF B.L., A Juvenile
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 9, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FJ-13-1521-12.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant B.L. (Charles H. Landesman, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Christopher J. Gramiccioni, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent State of New Jersey (Mary R. Juliano, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief and Joshua D. Detzky, law clerk on the brief).
Before Judges St. John and Leone.
Defendant B.L. appeals from his final adjudication of juvenile delinquency. He alleges that the judge erred by denying his motion to suppress and his motion for judgment of acquittal. We affirm.
On December 5, 2011, Patrolman David Gilliland was conducting random license plate inquiries in Howell Township. He ascertained that a passing pickup had no valid registration. The officer pulled over the pickup, which was being driven by B.L., who was seventeen and one-half years old. The officer had B.L. step out of the pickup, and asked him about the expired registration. B.L. responded that he was the principal operator of the pickup, though his grandfather owned it.
The officer separately asked B.L. and his passenger, S.S., where they were coming from and where they were going. B.L. replied they had come from S.S.'s residence and that "he was taking [S.S.] back to his residence to hang out." However, S.S. answered that they were coming from a gas station and going to another friend's house in Marlboro Township.
While questioning S.S., the officer saw two packages of rolling papers on the bench seat between the passenger and the driver. The officer was aware that rolling papers are commonly used for smoking marijuana. When he asked S.S. what the rolling papers were for, S.S. responded that he was taking them to the friend in Marlboro, and that he believed the friend would use them to smoke marijuana. The officer asked S.S. and B.L. if they smoked marijuana. S.S. said he had smoked marijuana, but had recently quit. B.L. replied that he smoked marijuana, but did so infrequently.
The officer then asked B.L. for consent to search the pickup. The officer advised B.L. of his rights to refuse a search, be present during the search, and stop the search. B.L. said he understood, gave permission to search, and signed a form consenting to the search.
The officer looked underneath the passenger's side of the pickup's single bench seat and discovered a two-foot-tall purple marijuana smoking pipe emitting an odor of marijuana. Right next to this "bong, " the officer found a small bag containing marijuana. Another officer found in the driver's door panel a seven-inch silver dagger with a decorative blade. B.L. said the knife belonged to him, and gave no reason why he ...