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“Thanks Tara for always believing in me and making me feel like I was your only client. You made the impossible possible. Forever grateful.”

- Gabriel V.

Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

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Prescription drug misuse is on the rise for juveniles in Monmouth County and the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana. For juveniles, prescription drugs are more common than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. These drugs are extremely addictive and include painkillers such as OxyContin or Vicodin, and tranquilizers like Xanax or Valium.

If a juvenile is arrested for possession of these drugs, he or she will have to appear before a Superior Court Judge in the county of residence. The local municipality where the juvenile was arrested will refer the matter to the Prosecutor’s Office. For example, if a juvenile was arrested in Middletown, the matter will be referred to Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

It is imperative that an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney handles the matter to avoid any type of long-term hardship to the juvenile. It is often the case that the family is concerned more with the drug misuse and the criminal matter takes a second seat. However, there are ways that the drug treatment can be incorporated into the juvenile matter so that the child benefits from the treatment.

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The fourth of July weekend brings many people to the jersey shore area and with the celebratory weekend, there is an increase in arrests for crimes related to Fireworks. Possession of Fireworks are illegal in the state of New Jersey notwithstanding the fact that they are very accessible to buy just over the state lines in Pennsylvania. The crime of Possession of fireworks is considered a disorderly persons offense which is punishable up to six months in jail. Possession of fireworks with the intent to sell is a fourth-degree offense with a maximum penalty of 18 months State Prison and fines up to $10,000. The following are considered fireworks: firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles and sparklers.

A disorderly persons offense is heard in the municipal court of the town or municipality where the arrest occurred. A fourth degree crime will likely be heard in the Superior Court of the county where the incident occurred.

Often times juveniles are arrested for possession of fireworks. Juvenile matters are heard in the family division of the Superior Court, and not the municipal courts. All juvenile matters are brought before the family division. It is important to avoid a criminal record in these type of situations so that there are not long term effects for immature acts.

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If you have been charged with the crime of Possession of Less than 50 Grams of Marijuana, you have been charged with a crime that many other individuals have been charged with throughout Monmouth County. Often times people are arrested for Possession of Marijuana in a driving a motor vehicle after getting pulled over by the police. Or sometimes, the marijuana is found on an individual incident to another arrest.

This offense is considered a disorderly persons offense. If found guilty of the charge, it will go on your record, and it cannot be expunged for 5 years following the date of conviction, date of completion of probation or date all fines are paid off, whichever date is the latest in time. Also, you can face up to 6 months incarceration, loss of a driving license and additional fines and penalties. If you have been charged with this offense, an experience attorney might be able to negotiate ae conditional discharge for you or a possible dismissal.

If you are an adult on the date of arrest then the matter will be heard in the municipal court of the town where you were arrested. If you are a juvenile then your matter will be heard in the the family division of the Superior Court. Ms. Breslow is extremely familiar with juvenile matters and knows how to get the best possible results in the juvenile courts.

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This week the U.S. Attorney Office announced that there would be an investigation made into misconduct of the Newark Police Department. The allegations that have been several violations of the Civil Right Act of 1964. The allegations include retaliation against anyone who video tapes or record police misconduct. The ACLU investigated over 400 instances of misconduct over the past several years. The Department of Justice will be using their resources in order in investigate these allegations.

If there is any validity to these violations, then there could be several legal ramifications with regards to arrests made by the police department over the past several years. If it is found to be true that members of the police department made false charges against individuals in the community then wouldn’t all arrests be questioned. Were drugs planted on defendants? It could mean a mountain of appeals and motions to vacate sentences.

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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.

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If your question is whether you are eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) or a Conditional Discharge it must first be determined what court your matter is going to be heard. If you are charged with a disorderly persons drug offense then your matter will be heard in municipal court. If you are charged with a felony offense then your matter will be heard in Superior Court.

Pre-Trial Intervention, commonly called PTI, is a diversionary program offered in the Superior Courts for those individuals with no criminal record. The process begins with an application to be filled out by the applicant and then probation interviews the applicant and reviews the application and renders a decision. Then, the Prosecutors Office will review the file and determine if they will accept the applicant. If the person is excepted into PTI, then he or she must appear before a Superior Court Judge in order to accept the conditions set forth. Usually, there are fines (for drug offenses there will be additional DEDR penalties) application costs, court costs and restitution if applicable. In addition, community service is imposed by the Judge and the hours can range from 50 to 300.

If you are appearing in Municipal Court and charged with a minor drug offense, then you could be eligible for a Conditional Discharge. When you receive aConditional Discharge you agree to be placed on probation for at least a year or longer, and if you complete the conditions imposed you will have the matter dismissed. This option is only available in the municipal courts and only applies to minor drug offenses.

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It is very common question to ask what privacy rights do juveniles have while they are at school? Can their lockers and backpacks be searched? Many juveniles arrested for Drug Possession or Distribution of CDS within 1000 feet of a school, are arrested only after a school official has searched their locker or backpack and found marijuana, cocaine or heroin. Often times a juvenile was pressured by another student to store the drugs, and he or she is left possessing the contraband. Often times, juveniles will think that since they were not selling the drugs or they were holding drugs for another student that they are not guilty. If you or your child has been arrested for any criminal charge it is important that you speak with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

It is imperative that a lawyer review the police reports in order to determine whether the police and/or school officials acted legally. The juvenile will be appearing in the family division of the Superior Court regardless of the offense, since juvenile offenders are brought before the Superior Court. Even if the juvenile is charged with Possession of Marijuana less than 50 grams (which is a disorderly persons offense) the matter will be brought before a Superior Court Judge. It is possible that the juvenile can be eligible for an Adjourned Disposition, which will mean that the juvenile will not have record.
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The Ocean Township Police Department responded to a Resident’s home after receiving a tip involving marijuana cultivation. The police searched the residence and discovered that the bedroom had been converted to a hydroponic “grow room. Sophisticated growing equipment was found, including PVC piping, heat lamps, water pumps, filters and timers. The alleged was charged with the following; manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public building, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

I have several questions regarding this arrest. First, did the police obtain a search warrant prior to entering the home? If so, was it a proper search warrant? Who was the informant for the police? Was there a Confidential Informant utilized in the investigation?

Often times the police work with a confidential informant, otherwise known as a “CI” by criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors. A CI will work with the police in making a “buy” off of an alleged seller. The CI will obtain money from the police or the Drug Task Force, or Detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office who are working on the investigation in exchange for being observed making a buy. After the alleged sale is made, the CI meets with the police, turns over the drugs and makes a statement about the transaction. The Confidential Informant may also get leniency for their own pending matter before their court as compensation.

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