**UPDATE: Later 2015 NJ case law has changed some aspects of the standard for vehicle searches. While the facts of this case remain unchanged, the controlling legal standards have been updated. Please read our more recent blog post for an updated discussion on warrantless vehicle searches.**
Is it okay if, while a driver is being treated for an automobile accident, a trooper searches his vehicle without his consent, for the legitimate purpose of obtaining his insurance and registration? In a unanimous recent decision, the NJ Supreme Court said “no,” unless the driver is unwilling or unable.