Monmouth County Drug Crime Lawyer
Our Monmouth County Criminal Lawyers can tell you that when you have been arrested on a drug charge in New Jersey it is important that you hire a lawyer who has navigated the criminal justice system; especially attorneys who have handled cases involving drug possession or distribution.
Whether it be a simple possession charge: less than 50 grams of marijuana would be considered a simple possession charge and is charged as a disorderly person’s offense. Other possession charges including possessing heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, Adderall, Oxycodone/Oxycontin, Percocet, Xanex, Vicodin or any other CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) is an indictable offense which could be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree felonies depending on the weight, type, and reasons the person is carrying the drugs.
Felony level cases are handled in the Superior Court in the county in which the person was arrested. A disorderly person offense or felony offense, if convicted can lead to jail time, prison time, or the other collateral consequences that present with a criminal conviction. Of course any type of criminal conviction for drug possession or distribution can affect your employability, ability to qualify for housing, or if you are a student your ability to receive federal student loans.
Our Monmouth County Criminal Lawyers have successfully handled cases involving drug possession or distribution. If you have a pending drug possession or distribution charge contact a Monmouth County Criminal Lawyer at Riviere Cresci & Singer LLC. (732)-646-5529
Our team of criminal defense lawyers defends clients in drug cases throughout Central New Jersey, including but not limited to Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Mercer and Union counties, as well as the cities of Freehold, Lakewood, Asbury Park, Trenton, and Toms River. It is quite common that persons getting charged with possession are stopped on the Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, 95, and other major throughways.
You may be thinking that “the drugs were in my pocket” so I have no defense. Wrong! Drug Possession defense lawyers know the legalities of the who, what, where and when’s of law enforcements ability to search and seize drugs. Just like the rest of society, the cops make mistakes.
If there was a mistake made by the police our attorneys are confident we will find those mistakes and use them to build you a solid criminal defense. As stated previously many times drug possession charges arise from a motor vehicle stop. Things our attorneys will review include did they police have probable cause to stop the vehicle, did they have consent, probable cause or a valid warrant to search the car? If they did something wrong in this process it can lead to the prosecution not being able to use the improperly seized drugs, as evidence, against you in your case.
Furthermore, many times when you are arrested you will be questioned by police while in custody. Before they can interrogate you they are required to read you your Miranda rights. This is another aspect of the case where the cops may have made mistakes and once it again it can lead to incriminating evidence, in the form of a statement(s), which may be thrown out (suppressed).
New Jersey has some of the toughest drug laws in the country but it does also have programs to give those who made a mistake a second chance or those who truly have a drug addiction, a chance at rehabilitation, rather than carrying a guilty conviction on their records or be sentenced to prison time. These programs are called PTI (Pretrial Intervention) and Drug Court.
Several counties in New Jersey have a Drug Court program. Drug Court is essentially a program where the State gives non-violent and addicted drug offenders a chance at recovery instead of the sending them to State prison. The Drug Court Manual specifies that a defendant may be eligible for drug court under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14 (Special Probation for prison-bound offenders) or N.J.S.A. 2C:45-1 (Ordinary Probation).
Drug Court is not picnic and it requires the participants to be employed and at the same time under intense supervision. In order to monitor the participant’s adherence and success the participants will be subjected to random and frequent drug testing, as well as court appearances. Furthermore, the Court will require that participants receive counseling and drug treatment of the Court’s choice. In essence Drug Court is an intense probationary period which lasts for a certain amount of time which will also be set by the Court. The amount of time can vary from case-to-case.
The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) provides those being prosecuted for a criminal charge, generally first-time offenders, with opportunities to avoid prosecution in its normal course. PTI is a program which recognizes that sometimes personal, social or other problems can lead one down the wrong path and result in criminal act. PTI gives the defendant an opportunity to change their lives and avoid future criminal or disorderly behavior. If PTI is successfully completed, the defendant will not have a record of a criminal conviction, as well as, it will save the defendant the costs and expenses that they would otherwise incur in the normal course of a prosecution.
Conditions of Pretrial Intervention:
Generally, supervision while in the PTI program averages from one to three years. Some standard conditions of PTI include: random urine monitoring, assessments for fees, and penalties and fines. Other conditions that may also apply include: community service, payment of restitution, and submission to psychological and/or drug and alcohol evaluations with compliance to recommended treatment programs.
As previously stated successful completion of all the conditions of PTI will result in the original charges being dismissed and there is no record of conviction. On the other hand where the defendant does not successfully complete the conditions of PTI, then the defendant is terminated from the PTI and the case is returned to be prosecuted in its normal course, which could result in a criminal conviction.
Am I Eligible for Pretrial Intervention (PTI)?
Listed below are some of the factors which will determine if you are likely to be accepted into PTI:
- Age – PTI adult defendants.
- Residence – PTI is for New Jersey residents, but others may apply.
- Jurisdiction – Only defendants charged with criminal or penal offenses in New Jersey criminal or municipal courts.
- Minor Violations – Not eligible if the likely result would be a suspended sentence without probation or a fine.
- Prior Record of Convictions – PTI generally excludes defendants who have been previously convicted.
- Parolees and Probationers – Generally excluded without prosecutor’s consent and considered only after consultation with parole and probation departments.
- Defendants Previously Diverted – excludes defendants who have previously been granted a diversionary program or conditional discharge.
Acceptance or non-acceptance into PTI is an appealable decision and the applicant may appeal the decision to the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division.
If you have been arrested on a drug charge in New Jersey it is important that you hire a lawyer who has navigated the criminal justice system; especially attorneys who have handled cases involving drug possession or distribution. Contact the lawyers at Riviere Cresci & Singer LLC today!