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A criminal charge for the possession, use, and/or sale of any controlled dangerous substance in New Jersey can have lasting effects. There are so many factors that are important to know when facing these charges, such as (1) prior criminal history; (2) prior similar offenses; (3) the type and quantity of drugs; (4) whether or not the defendant was charged for being within 1000 feet of a school zone, and; (5) the defendant’s status as a mere user or a distributor. At the outset, our attorneys analyze all of the facts in order to determine if there are any constitutional issues that may result in the suppression of evidence. Often times law enforcement will take certain liberties with use of the factors necessary to support ‘probable cause’ in order to justify their suspicions. The fact is that, just because a person is in a drug trafficking area does not mean that they are there to purchase drugs. If you are arrested or detained for questioning on suspicion of possession of drugs, the worst thing you can do is try to explain yourself. The first thing you should do is ask to speak to an attorney or invoke your right to remain silent. Remember that a good criminal defense attorney’s job is made extremely difficult when a defendant waives their right to remain silent and speaks to law enforcement.

New Jersey has enacted what are called the Brimage guidelines, which are the result of statutes, New Jersey Supreme Court decisions, and Attorney General directives which remove prosecutorial discretion in downgrading or amending charges. The result is that a defendant charged with first degree offenses may be subject to parole ineligibility requirements that will keep them incarcerated for an extended period of time. Our attorneys understand the law and have made applications, when viable, in order to waive the Brimage guidelines and save our clients years of incarceration.

There are also other facets of the defense of these charges that require an experienced attorney. For example, often times law enforcement will use the services of a confidential informant or wiretaps. When appropriate, we have made the necessary applications before the court in order to force the authorities to reveal certain information, such as the number of times that the confidential informant has been used and the manner in which they were used for the purposes of potentially suppressing evidence.

Finally, many defendants will be eligible for different kinds of programs, such as Pre Trial Intervention, Drug Court, or the Intense Supervision Program, or ISP. In some cases a defendant’s eligibility may be statutorily barred but is subject to waiver. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and know how to properly present our clients’ cases in the event that they may not be eligible.


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