Arrested Following Traffic Stop in Somerset County NJ
All too often we see what can only be classified as a routine traffic stop turn into serious felony charges being levied against one of the occupants. When this occurs the individual will typically go from facing a monetary fine and possible some points on their license to possibly facing decades in prison depending on what the charges are. Typically speaking, the vast majority of criminal offenses that derive from a traffic stop in New Jersey occur as a result of one of two scenarios. The first being when a search of the motor vehicle or a search of the “persons” of one of the occupants is conducted. When this occurs, some of the more common criminal charges that we see being issued include possession of CDS, unlawful possession of a weapon, receiving stolen property, driving while intoxicated and obstructing the administration of law. The second scenario is when the driver fails to pull over. When this type of situation takes place we tend to see the following crimes being issued: eluding, resisting arrest, assault by auto, death by auto and aggravated assault. Regardless of the scenario, if this occurs, this makes a bad situation far worse. If you or a loved one has unfortunately found yourselves in this type of situation in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. It should go without saying but when this type of situation arises, it is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to understand your options. Our attorneys serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including towns like Hillsborough, Bridgewater, Raritan, Franklin, Branchburg, Readington, Clinton, East Amwell and North Plainfield. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today, please contact us directly at 908.533.1064.
What to Know When it Comes to Traffic Court v. Superior Court in New Jersey
When a routine traffic stop turns into an individual being charged with a criminal offense it more likely than not will change what Court has jurisdiction over the case. All traffic offenses, including driving while intoxicated will be litigated in the local Municipal Court in the municipality where the incident happened. At worst, an individual would be facing a potential license suspension and a monetary fine for a traffic violation. However, if the routine traffic stop results in indictable (felony) criminal charges being filed, the entire case, including the original traffic summons, must be transferred from the local Municipal Court to the Superior Court in the County where the incident happened. Depending the specific charge, the individual could now be facing not only a permanent criminal record but also decades in prison. It is important to note here that if the individual was only charged with a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) as a result of the routine traffic stop then the case will remain in the local Municipal Court but they still would be facing up to six months in the County Jail on the criminal charge. As you can see, the stakes are clearly raised when an individual is charged criminally following what otherwise would have simply been a routine traffic stop. For more information on the difference between Superior Court and Municipal Court in New Jersey, please click the link.
Ways to Challenge Criminal Charges Derived From Routine Traffic Stop
As indicated briefly above, the vast majority of criminal charges that derive from a traffic stop are classified as “possession” type of offenses. For example, Possession of CDS, Unlawful Possession of a Gun, Possession of Stolen Property and Possession of Fraudulent Credit Cards. As a result, most of these charges involve some form of a search and seizure. When this occurs, it opens the door for an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend the charges. Here are some of the key areas that we look to exploit when it comes to challenge a search and seizure of a motor vehicle:
- Was there Reasonable Articulable Suspicion to Conduct the Motor Vehicle Stop
- Was there Probable Cause to Conduct the Search of the Motor Vehicle
- Was there Probable Cause to Conduct the Search of the “Persons”
- Was the illegal items in Plain View
- Was there Reasonable Articulable Suspicion to call the K9
- Was the Consent to Search Valid
- Was the Inculpatory Statement by the Defendant Valid
- Was Miranda Warnings Given
These are just a few of the areas that we look too exploit when it comes to a “possessory” case in New Jersey. Depending on the facts surrounding the suppression hearing, it could lead to a suppression of State’s key pieces of evidence, which in turn can lead to a dismissal of the charges.
Common Felony Criminal Charges Issued as a Result of Traffic Violation in NJ
Although possession type of cases are the most common indictable (felony) offenses that we see being penned out following a traffic stop gone wrong in New Jersey, they are not the only type of cases. Here is some of the most common indictable and disorderly persons offenses issued in connection with an otherwise routine traffic stop.
- Possession of Heroin
- Possession of Handgun
- Assault by Auto
- Aggravated Assault
Disorderly Persons / Traffic Offense
- Disorderly Conduct
- Obstruction of Justice
- Hindering Apprehension
- Driving Under the Influence
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Posting Bail for Criminal Charges Following Traffic Stop in Somerset County
Anyone arrested and charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey under what is known as a Complaint-Warrant will be subject to our Bail Reform Act. Pursuant to our Bail Reform Act, anyone charged with a criminal complaint on a Complaint-Warrant must be taken from the local police station down to the County Jail, which is located in Somerville, for at least 24 hours, so that Pretrial Services can conduct their risk assessment. The risk assessment will in turn be used by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether they will be agreeing to releasing the Defendant at their Central Judicial Processing Hearing. If they decide to decline agreeing to bail then a formal detention hearing must take place. This hearing will take place approximately five days after the Defendant’s arrest and the ultimate decision to release the individual on bail will be entirely up to the Judge. For more information on detention hearings in Somerset County, please click the link.
Looking for a Criminal Lawyer in Somerville for Criminal Case
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a firm comprised of attorneys who have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of crimes in towns throughout New Jersey, including towns throughout Somerset and Hunterdon County. If you are currently facing criminal charges in Somerset and Hunterdon County and would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys today, please call 908.533.1064. We defend all types of cases, including driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault, burglary, terroristic threats, death by auto and possession of CDS with the intent to distribute. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.