While it is always advisable to adhere to the wishes of law enforcement and remain compliant when pulled over, police are people too, and people make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes make it so they can do their job, but if those mistakes do not follow proper protocol it could end up making subsequent events null and void.
Such was the case for two New Jersey men who had been arrested and charged for drug possession and possession with intent to distribute in 2015. At the time, police said they initially pulled the men’s vehicle over because it had a headlight out and the driver was acting evasively.
They then acquired a search warrant after noticing an odor of marijuana coming from the car. The police ended up finding marijuana and cocaine inside the vehicle.
But the two men charged denied that their headlight was out and that the stop was unconstitutional. Through court, the police did not do much to prove that the initial stop was constitutional, only that the judge’s subsequent issuing of the warrant rendered the stop constitutional.
Well, the court ended up ruling in favor of the two men, claiming the drugs found in the vehicle were improperly obtained. The court ruled to suppress the evidence.
Drug Charges Are Serious in New Jersey
When it comes down to it, you cannot rely on evidence being thrown out by the court when it comes to a drug charge, especially in New Jersey where the laws and penalties are strict.
Possession of a drug like cocaine, in any amount, is considered a third-degree crime and carries a jail sentence between three and five years. In addition, you could be facing a fine of up to $35,000.
For marijuana, if you are in possession of 50 grams or less it is a disorderly person offense. You could face up to six months in prison and end up with a fine as high as $1,000. If you are in possession of more than 50 grams it is considered a fourth-degree crime and the jail sentence gets pushed to up to 18 months. In addition, the fine increases to $15,000.
When you are deemed to be in possession of a certain amount or higher of any illegal drug, the charge will graduate to possession with intent to distribute, which carries even more penalties and fines.
Again, you cannot rely on evidence being thrown away in court to keep your record clean. Instead, you should turn to a top-notch attorney.
NJ Drug Crimes Attorney Will Build You A Strong Defense
In New Jersey, you should look no further than Jill R. Cohen, Esq., for a strong, aggressive defense against your drug charge. You should not have to deal with the jail time, fines and criminal record that comes from being convicted of a drug crime.
Ms. Cohen handles the full gamut of drug crimes from simple possession to drug trafficking, distribution, and racketeering. She will provide you with a serious criminal defense strategy and put you in the best position to beat your charge.
So, what are you waiting for? Fill out the online contact form to begin discussing your case today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.