Elizabeth NJ Possession of Marijuana Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Tampering With Evidence Charges Dismissed
* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. *
NOTE: This matter occurred prior to the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey.
Ms. Hascup’s 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 the 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 the client to the Police Department, officers checked the back seat of their patrol, where they claimed to have discovered a quantity of marijuana, which they further claimed that the client attempted 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, at the time the matter was pending, carried 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, the client faced a maximum of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
Initially, Ms. Hascup 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 waiting for a court date in the Elizabeth Municipal Court, Ms. Hascup obtained as much positive information about her client as she could. She learned that he was a recent college graduate and had also willingly engaged in therapy during the pendency of the case. She secured 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 for their review and consideration.
Ms. Hascup then appeared with her client at the Elizabeth Municipal Court, where she 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 she 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 outright, along with both of the motor vehicle summons. The remaining charge, Possession of Marijuana, was then dismissed upon her client’s successful completion of the CD Program. He paid a fine and left court (with his license).
It was a great outcome.