Our firm just finished up representing a Defendant that was arrested and charged the possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and the possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. The charges stemmed from what we quickly determined was an undercover operation. The narcotic detectives were in essence combing the area looking for any suspicious activity.
In our case, the “suspicious activity” amounted to our client, who was an African American male, getting picked up in an urban area by his Caucasian friend, who happened to be driving a Mercedes. Based on this activity alone the surveillance team followed the vehicle for about two miles until it lawfully parked on the side of the road and the Defendant exited the vehicle to enter a bodega. After being inside the bodega for ten minutes, the Defendant exits and the officers assert that they watched him then have a conversation for about three minutes on the street corner with another individual. Then when the conversation ended and the parties parted ways, the officers claimed they observed a “hand gesture” as the Defendant reentered the vehicle. Based on that information alone, the Defendant and his friend were removed from their vehicle, with weapons drawn and a search was conducted. Located on the Defendant was several grams of crack cocaine and several bundles of heroin.
Possession of Crack with the Intent to Distribute Charges
It was apparent from the outset that the entire situation was suspicious to say the least. Since they are felony charges, they were transferred to the superior court for disposition. Following a Pre-Indictment Conference, the county prosecutor’s office agreed to remand the case back to the local municipal court do to the serious issues surrounding the legality of the search. Once at municipal court, a suppression motion was filed. It was clear from the facts that the officer did not have “probable cause” to stop and search the Defendant. The courts have been pretty clear over the year that in order to find probable cause, the officers need to observe something more than just a simply hand gesture. If the officers observed money and/or some object that is indicative of being a controlled dangerous substances, the courts have been more willing to find probable cause. Based on the clear constitutional violations, the charges were dismissed outright against our client. Our client went from facing up to five years in prison and a $35,000 fine on each offense, to having the felony charges dismissed outright and the arrest expunged from his record immediately.
Trenton NJ Crack Cocaine Lawyer
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, our attorneys fully understand the ramifications that a criminal conviction let alone a lengthy jail sentence can do to someone’s life. As such, our attorneys are dedicated to aggressively challenging the evidence presented against our clients in order to achieve a favorable outcome. Our office serves all of Mercer County, including towns like Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Ewing, West Windsor, East Windsor and Princeton. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today, then please contact our Hamilton office at 609-789-0779. Our attorneys are available immediately to discuss your options.
State v. T.W. (November 2017)