Elizabeth NJ Possession of Marijuana Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Tampering With Evidence Charges Dismissed
Elizabeth NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers
My client was stopped by the Elizabeth Police Department for allegedly failing to observe a traffic signal. During the course of the motor vehicle stop, officers claimed to smell marijuana and asked my client for consent to search his vehicle, which he gave. He was subsequently placed under arrest for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, based on some items that were found. After transporting my client to the PD, officers checked the back seat of their patrol, where they claimed to have discovered a quantity of marijuana, which they further claimed that my client attempting to hide by shoving it in between the seats. They then added additional charges for Possession of Marijuana (under 50 grams), Tampering With Physical Evidence, and Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle (a traffic offense that carries exposure to a lengthy license suspension).
Due to the nature of the Tampering charge (a felony/indictable-level offense), the case was originally sent up to the Union County Superior Court for handling. If convicted at that level, my client faced a maximum of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
Initially, I was successful in having the Tampering charge downgraded, so the entire case could be “remanded” (i.e., sent back) to the Elizabeth Municipal Court for handling. This, in and of itself, was a huge success.
While we waited for a court date, I obtained as much positive information about my client as I could. He was a recent college graduate and had also willingly engaged in therapy during the pendency of the case. I got a reference letter from his therapist, a copy of his college transcript, and a copy of his diploma and supplied these documents to the Elizabeth Municipal Prosecutor’s Office.
I then appeared with my client at the Elizabeth Municipal Court, where I was able to successfully negotiate his entry into the Conditional Discharge (CD) Program for first-time drug offenders and a dismissal of the remaining charges. (There was initially a question as to his eligibility for the CD Program because he had prior arrests on his record, but I was able to show the municipal prosecutor that none of those prior matters had resulted in a conviction.) The Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Tampering charges were dismissed on the spot, along with both of the motor vehicle summons. The remaining charge, Possession of Marijuana, will be dismissed upon my client’s successful completion of the CD Program. He paid a fine and left court (with his license).
It was a great outcome.