In an unpublished Appellate Division decision issued today, Ms. Hascup secured a victory for her client, who has been fighting criminal charges in Essex County since January of 2019. The client was arrested by the Cedar Grove Police Department when he appeared at a UPS store to retrieve a package from China that allegedly contained illegal anabolic steroids and testosterone in powder form. He purportedly told police that he planned to deliver the substance to another individual, who would pay him in the form of money and injectable steroids for his own use. He was charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute CDS, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10b(13), a crime of the Third Degree, and Possession of CDS, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1), also a crime of the Third Degree.
The client, who was in his 40s, had absolutely no prior involvement with the criminal justice system and a documented history with steroid addiction and associated health issues. In the days following his arrest, he voluntarily sought treatment for his addiction and appeared to be making great strides. Accordingly, with the assistance of Ms. Hascup, the client applied for entry into the PTI Program (a first-time offenders program which would have allowed him to avoid the consequences associated with a criminal conviction).
He was accepted by the Essex County Probation Department, but the State rejected his PTI application. Ms. Hascup appealed the decision. Judge Arthur J. Batista, J.S.C. heard the PTI appeal and issued a well-reasoned opinion overruling the State’s PTI denial. He concluded that the State did not consider the applicable PTI factors, and that their decision was clear error and deviated from the purpose of PTI. In other words, he thought that the client was a good candidate for PTI and should be permitted into the Program. The State appealed Judge Batista’s decision.
In a decision issued today, the Appellate Division affirmed Judge Batista’s decision to permit the client’s entry into PTI. They found that Ms. Hascup presented circumstances which clearly warranted the client’s admission into the Program on the charges. The case will now be sent back to the Essex County Superior Court so that the client’s case can be resolved by way of PTI.
If you or a loved one are facing charges and may be eligible for participation in the PTI Program, you need an advocate who will fight relentlessly to ensure that the right result is achieved. Contact Alissa D. Hascup anytime for a free consultation.