What is the Difference Between Searching Your Home vs Your Vehicle in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

I get a question sometimes about the difference between searching a person's house vs a vehicle.  And it is important to understand that the searching of a person's home is much different than searching a vehicle.  A person's home carries a much higher constitutional protection than a person's vehicle.  Because there is a higher degree of constitutional protection, there is a higher expectation of privacy in that home vs in your car. 

Police have the ability to search homes and cars.  Now home search in most situations require a search warrant, unlike a vehicle.  In a vehicle, now in Pennsylvania, in most situations police can search that vehicle without a warrant.  In a home situation though, police need a search warrant unless the prosecution can establish there was exigent circumstances.  What that basically means is there has to be some issue which cause the police to bypass the warrant and immediately go into that house to retrieve that contraband.  Normally that is what is known as hot pursuit or some type of scenario if they don't act immediately they are going to lose that evidence.   And that is often very difficult to prove.

For more information about this concept I encourage you to read my book Commonwealth v You.  This is a 100 page guide which offers a lot of answers to the questions that clients typically have and that I have answered over the years defending people just like you. 

I look forward to speaking with you soon and I wish you the best in your case.