No probable cause needed to search student cars at school – State v. Best
In yesterday’s Appellate Division decision captioned State v. Best, the Court decided that a student’s motor vehicle that is parked on school property may be searched by school officials based upon a mere reasonable suspicion that illegal drugs or other contraband are contained within the vehicle. Neither probable cause nor a search warrant is required for this type of search. The foundation for the Court’s holding is based upon the vastly diminished expectation of privacy to which students are subjected while on school property. This diminished expectation of privacy has previously resulted in judicial holdings that authorized searches of school lockers and book bags based upon reasonable suspicion and random drug tests of students engaged in extra-curricular activities.
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