If you are a university student who is cruising along in the lane to success, you are likely worrying how your recent bust on drug charges can derail your otherwise promising life and future career. Whether it was an indictable offense or merely a disorderly person offense, any drug charges require swift action on the part of both you and your criminal defense attorney.
For any readers that doubt the aggressive tactics used by New Jersey authorities in enforcing drug crimes, a recent story about a local drug bust provides context.
Under federal and New Jersey state law, a conviction for certain drug offenses can result in some of the most serious punishments in the criminal justice system, matching the retribution afforded to weapons or violent crimes. Such punishments may involve fines, mandatory jail time, driver’s license suspension and even property seizure.
Penalties for drug crimes, especially when the charge is possession with intent to sell, drug distribution or drug trafficking, are harsh in New Jersey. Many of these charges result from lengthy police investigations and home raids, but many others result from traffic stops.
New Jersey’s sentencing structure, like other jurisdictions, increases in severity for repeat offenses. A recent drug arrest provides context.
As an attorney that has helped many clients in their criminal defense, I understand the importance of reviewing police procedures for impropriety. For example, a recent story reminds us that sometimes even a routine traffic stop or communication with an officer can escalate into much more serious charges.
At first thought, bail seems like a great provision for those who are accused of a crime. "All you have to do is pay some money and you get out of jail? What's not to like?" But, of course, if you extend that first thought to a second, third, or fourth thought, the flaws of the bail system will immediately become clear.
When it comes to immigrants and immigration, there's a staggering variety of issues for people to have political opinions about. Legal vs. unauthorized entry into the U.S. is the one you've probably heard the, but even legal, productive immigrants face a number of legal challenges, especially in criminal law.
In 2011, two Woodbridge police detectives had their eye out for a particular Ford Bronco. They had received some calls from concerned citizens claiming that there was an unusual amount of activity at the Bronco owner's apartment, and they suspected drug activity.
One of the more startling aspects of the War on Drugs has been its influence on the relationship between police officers and citizens. Aside from alleged racism in its enforcement, the drug war has turned every encounter between law enforcement and the public into a potential confrontation. Drugs are relatively easy to hide after all, and just about anyone could have them -- and police officers have been told to root out such dastardly villains with every tool at their disposal.