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Articles Posted in Drug Court

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We’ve sometimes got trouble, right here in Holmdel township, with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for the PNC Bank Art Center. This popular music venue in Holmdel has provided a venue for musical acts from symphonies to Sinatra to Springsteen to Phish to Sting over the years – but the festival environment has also spawned more than a little bit of trouble in the form of dozens of drug arrests, underage drinking, DUI arrests, fights, shootings.

If you’re a music fan who gets into trouble with a capital T, the first person you should talk to is Holmdel criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa. She is experienced with a capital E and can reduce possible sentences, fines and future consequences for anyone arrested around the PNC Bank Center.

PLEASANT VALLEY

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This New York Times article discusses the debate over random drug testing in high schools in New Jersey. I will be interesting to see if this goes through, and what the legal ramifications are for those who test positive.

See link below for article:

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PNC Arts Center is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey in the town of Holmdel. It is one of two major outdoor arenas located in the New York Metropolitan area. The venue has been the center of several controversies, including an incident during a Phish concert in 2000 where over 70 people were arrested, and the band was not invited back to the venue before their hiatus in 2004.

In recent years, there has been an increase in police presence at the Arts Center, and this has resulted with an increase in arrests for those attending concerts at the venue. Unfortunately, a night of fun and relaxation can result with an arrest that can jeopardize your future.

If you have been arrested on a felony charge in Holmdel, New Jersey, the matter will be transferred to the Superior Court located in Freehold. If you have been charged with a third or fourth degree Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) or any other felony charge, it is imperative that you hire an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense attorney to handle the matter. It is possible that the matter could be remanded back to municipal court. Or if this is your first offense you could be eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), avoiding a criminal record.

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As the warm weather air rolls in and July 4th is around the corner, beach-lovers head to Long Beach Island (LBI).  Inevitably, when there is a sudden increase in population in a shore town, the local police department increase their police presence as well.   This increase in police presence in the summer months is evident in the towns  of Beach Haven, Ship Bottom, Long Beach Township, Surf City, Barnegat Light and Harvey Cedars.

If you have visited LBI, you know it is a beautiful place, however many  juveniles and adults are arrested while on vacation in LBI over the summer months.  An arrest can have significant long term negative effect on your life . Whether the arrest be for a borough ordinance violation, Possession of Marijuana less than 50 grams, Drug Paraphernalia, Criminal Mischief or Simple Assault, all these matters require court appearances.  A Disorderly Person offense holds a maximum of 6 months in jail, a probation term and up to $1000 in court fines. It is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting on your side in these local municipalities of Beach Haven, Long Beach Township (which includes Brant Beach, Holgate, Brighton Beach, Beach Haven Crest, Beach Haven Terrace, Beach Haven Gardens, Haven Beach, The Dunes, Spray Beach and North Beach Haven), Surf City, Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars and Ship Bottom.

If the matter is classified as an indictable offense, whether is it be 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree the matter will be transferred to the Superior Court located in Toms River, New Jersey. Again, it is important to have an attorney with experience on your side.

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If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony offense, it will likely that your matter will be sent to the Superior Court in the county where you were arrested. For example, if you were arrested in Monmouth County, your matter will be transferred to the Superior Court located in Freehold. Once the matter is transferred it will undergo a screening process, and it is possible that prior to the matter being sent to the Grand Jury for Indictment, the matter will be sent to the Pre-Indictment Court, otherwise known as PIP court. Judge Kilgallen is the newly assigned Judge who presides over PIP court in Monmouth County.

It is not always beneficial to accept a plea deal in PIP court. However, sometimes it is the best deal that a defendant will ever be offered. It is important to know the risks as well as the benefits of accepting or rejecting a plea offer. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in New Jersey can help advise you whether this will be the best deal or if you can do better if you wait.

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Drug Court has been a successful addition to the court system as it has treated non-violent offenders who suffer from drug additions throughout the state of New Jersey. The rates of recidivism for drug court graduates have proven to be minimal as compared to the rates for drug offenders. There is no doubt that drug court has changed many lives, but now it seems that Governor Christie is trying to expand this program in order to avoid increased incarceration for those who suffer from addition.

As part of drug court, a person has to complete the recommended drug treatment program, and then remain on probation for 5 years. The individual is highly monitored by the Drug Court Team including drug testing, proof of employment and weekly appearances in court. Even though Drug Court is a commitment and time consuming, often times it is a way to avoid incarceration. This year has been an exciting year as Governor Christie has showed tremendous dedication to expanding the program to many of those who otherwise could not get in prior.

In 2012, Governor Chris Christie has made monumental strides in trying to expand the Drug Court Program in New Jersey. This new program will provide for drug programs and treatment for those appropriate candidates, to be implemented over a five year time period.

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Often times, people who lead productive law abiding lives make a mistake in their adult life, that leads to an arrest. Of course, a criminal record can lead to loss of a job, embarrassment and other life changing events. If you are a first time offender, PTI may be a way that you can keep a “clean” record. If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony offense, it is important to understand how PTI (pre-trial intervention) works, so that your future in no tainted by one event in poor judgment.

Whether you live in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex County or any other county in New Jersey, PTI supervisory programs are available in each county in the State of New Jersey. Usually, PTI is for 3rd and 4th degree offenders, however, an experienced criminal attorney could attempt to have the Prosecutor allow a 2nd degree offender apply to the program, and hopefully be accepted.

In order to be accepted, there is a two-phase application process, first you must be accepted by the probation department and then by the Prosecutor’s Office. Usually, PTI is for a 12 to 18 month time period. During the time period of PTI, you will need to report to a probation officer and follow all conditions imposed by the court. If there is an excessive amount of restitution to be paid back, then there might be a long time period for probation, but you can make an early release application. In addition, there is a community service component that one must complete which can range from 45 hours to 120 hours. All fines are to be paid through probation. It is important if you are accepted into PTI to comply with all conditions because you can be terminated and then face the original charges. After completion of PTI, you must wait 6 months to have the matter expunged.

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What is K2? It is sometimes referred to as “Spice” or “Designer Marijuana,” and it is a type of synthetic cannabis product that is becoming more prevalent throughout New Jersey. If you or a loved one is caught in possession of this type of drug; be aware that it is classified under the same Schedule as cocaine and heroin and as such considered a controlled dangerous substance. Since this drug is somewhat new on the market, in the recent past many drug tests did not pick up on K2, however that has all changed in recent months.

At the present time, Police in Highlands are investigating four separate incidents where individuals ended up in the hospital after smoking K2. Reportedly, the substance was purchased from a gas station located in Keansburg. This substance can cause severe hallucinations. K2 is classified under the same schedule as cocaine or heroin. In recent months Monmouth and Ocean counties, there have been many other arrests over the past months involving different shops selling K2 in violation of Federal and State laws.

It is also very common that juveniles are arrested for possession of K2. If a juvenile is arrested for Possession of this type of controlled dangerous substance the matter will be heard before a Superior Court Judge in the Family Division. If you or a loved one has been arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance; it is imperative that you contact an experience criminal defense attorney.

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If you have been charged with a drug related offense and are facing jail time, entry into Drug Court may be utilized as an alternative to serving a jail sentence. When someone gets sentenced to Drug Court, he or she will be put on a five-year probationary term with several conditions imposed. For example, prior to entrance into drug court, a defendant must undergo a drug evaluation. If the evaluation recommends a long-term in-patient program, the defendant must complete at least a six-month in-patient program. After completion of the program, the person must report to Drug Court on a regular basis, where there is continual drug testing. The drug court team will monitor the participant and make sure that he or she is working and taking proactive steps towards recovery.

If a defendant relapses, leaves a program or violates drug court in any form, then he or she will be facing a violation of probation. The defendant will most likely be incarcerated following issuance of this violation warrant, and he or she could be terminated from the program and sentenced to jail for a time period to be determined by the Judge. There will be a violation hearing prior to any termination.

Drug Court is a very serious program that is only appropriate for certain defendants, depending on the facts and circumstances of the underlying criminal case.