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Union County Criminal And Municipal Court Blog

In cocaine cases, what's the prosecution likely to do?

There is no sure answer to the question posed above. Every individual's case is unique because the circumstances always vary. Depending on the specific elements alleged in the formal complaint, charges in cocaine related cases in New Jersey can run the gamut from simple possession to more serious intent to sell and distribution.

The one thing that is certain is that the repercussions of a run in with the law are serious. A conviction for possession of even less than half an ounce of cocaine can bring a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $75,000. Penalties are harsher as the quantity involved increases. Consequences being what they are the depth and breadth of your attorney's experience is bound to make a difference.

What are common defenses against New Jersey assault charges?

It might not take much to trigger an arrest on a charge of battery in New Jersey. Throwing and landing a punch might be enough. The possibility of being charged with assault can take even less. All you have to do is make a verbal threat. If the person it's aimed at fears bodily harm, a charge of assault could follow.

Regardless of the nature of the charges, the prosecution has to prove that the elements of the crime fit. Since even a threat can be treated as a violent crime and yield serious penalties if a conviction is obtained, a defendant needs to take the matter seriously.

Marijuana offenses can still cause serious issues in New Jersey

Although several states, including nearby Massachusetts, have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use, New Jersey still has strict rules when it comes to marijuana possession.

The impact of a marijuana conviction is particularly severe for those who are juveniles or those currently attending college. If the courts convict you or you plead guilty to a marijuana offense, you will lose eligibility for all federal student aid. That can be the determining factor about whether or not you are able to attend or finish college. Because the consequences of being caught in possession are so serious, it is critical that you retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing marijuana possession charges in New Jersey. Failing to do so could completely change your life.

Colts defensive tackle facing DUI and theft charges

New Jersey football enthusiasts may be interested to learn that Indianapolis Colts player David Parry was accused of stealing a golf cart and driving while under the influence of alcohol in Arizona on Feb. 25. The 24-year-old defensive tackle was ultimately charged with seven offenses.

Authorities in Scottsdale, Ariz., stated that a golf cart taxi driver contacted them after picking up three bar-goers, one of whom was reportedly Parry. After the taxi driver dropped off the other two men, he claimed that Parry assaulted him and then stole the golf cart. Authorities later found both the golf cart and Parry after he had crashed into a gate. The police stated that Parry appeared drunk at the time they took him into custody.

Numerous drug charges filed following investigation

Three people have been taken into police custody in connection with a drug trafficking investigation in Morris County. The investigation, which was spearheaded by the Parsippany Police Department's Special Enforcement Unit, was initially launched in late 2016. The Morris County Sheriff's Office and Jefferson Township police were also involved in the investigation.

The effort culminated in the execution of a search warrant at a home in Jefferson on Jan. 20. According to Parsippany police, three pounds of marijuana and a total of 398 prescription pills were seized from the home located on Benedict Drive. In addition to the drugs, police also discovered an amount of cash in excess of $12,000 and recovered a number of items that were reportedly stolen during a robbery in Parsippany on Jan. 19. The stolen property was found within the residence and inside a 2016 Chevy Cruze that was parked near the home.

Woman accused of DUI after following police vehicle

On Feb. 20, a New Jersey woman was taken into police custody after she was accused of driving drunk and tailgating a police vehicle. The report stated that the 50-year-old woman had a minor child in the vehicle with her when the incident occurred.

An officer stated that he observed a 2013 Lexus following his vehicle too closely as he traveled along Route 15 in Sparta. After running the vehicle's registration, he learned that it was expired and conducted a traffic stop. He stated that he suspected that the woman behind the wheel was under the influence of alcohol, so he had her take a series of sobriety tests. She failed them and was ultimately taken into police custody.

Sex offense registration laws can mean layers of jurisdiction

Sex offenses, especially those committed against children, spark social outrage. It's understandable. Such cases are shocking and among the most common dealt with by New Jersey courts. It's easy to see why popular opinion might slant toward taking anyone charged with a sex crime straight to a cell and throwing away the key.

The legal system doesn't allow for that, at least not on paper. Once a person convicted of any crime completes the terms of their sentence, the law says their debt to society is paid. In practice, though, where sex offenses are concerned, some experts argue that the onus of having to register with authorities means the punishment doesn't end and there's little chance of integrating back into society.

Do gender, education and race influence prison sentences?

Stereotypes are extremely prevalent in our society, as unfortunate as that may sound. Many people will make quick, snap judgments about people based on their affiliation with a particular race, gender, nationality, social status, appearance - and even level of education.

It seems that no faction of society is immune to stereotyping. This rings especially true within the criminal justice system. Defense attorneys witness this every day, particularly in how our clients are treated in the courtroom. The prison sentencing people receive for indictable offenses is one example of stereotyping and bias.

Drug charges: Marijuana is still illegal in New Jersey

Although marijuana is more common in the United States, and many laws are looser than in the past, each state is different. In New Jersey, getting caught with marijuana puts you in a difficult position. If you're caught with papers to roll a joint, you could face distribution charges. If you police find you with a plant, they may charge you with wanting to sell or manufacture marijuana.

As a teen just starting college, they will try you as an adult for these drug charges. The severity of penalties may vary significantly, and a strong defense can help you make sure you're not affected in the long term because of this single mistake.

Are lie detector tests reliable or not?

The polygraph machine has been around since the early part of the last century. Despite early claims about how the so-called lie detector could use physiological measurements of a subject to determine if he or she is lying, results have always been questionable. The result is that using results as evidence has faced an uphill climb in the court.

Many people in New Jersey may be under the impression that because of the sketchy history, lie detector results are inadmissible against a person facing criminal charges – be they sex crime charges or something else. However, that is not an accurate take on the issue.

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