Judge Dismissed Crack Cocaine & Crack Pipe Charges
Our firm just finished up representing a client that was accused of among other things, possession of crack cocaine. The Defendant was arrested following an undercover investigation by the Narcotics Task Force whereby the surveillance team claimed they observed in plain view an narcotics transaction. Based on the surveillance team’s observations, which included two males speaking on a street corner and a “hand gesture” from one of the males as he walkaway from the area, the arrest team pulled over the Defendant and ripped him and his co-defendant out of the vehicle. While doing so, the arrest team asserted that they saw in plain view what they believed to be drug paraphernalia resting in the door consul. A further search of the Defendant was conducted and located inside the Defendant’s pocket was several grams of crack cocaine. Since the crack cocaine charge is considered a felony offense, the matter was transferred to the superior court for disposition. Once the initial discovery was provided, the matters was set down for what is known as Pre-Indictment Court, also known as PIC. During this hearing, our office was able to point out to the prosecution the numerous constitutional violations that occurred, including an unlawful search and seizure. The prosecution was seeking to compare the facts to State v. Moore, where the court upheld a search reasoning that the officers had “probable cause” that crime had just been committed based on the officer’s testimony that he witnessed a hand to hand transaction, which included the transfer of money and an object that was indicative in CDS in an isolated area. However, after a lengthy discussion, the facts were more in line with State v. Pineiro, where the court held that a transfer of cigarette pack between two known drug dealers did not give the arresting officer “probable cause” to seize and search the Defendant. As a result of that hearing, the prosecution agreed downgrade the case back to the local municipal court for disposition.
Once the case was remanded back to the local municipal court our office filed a formal suppression motion. After numerous court appearances and lengthy discussions regarding the difficult hurdles that existed for the prosecution, including not having one of the key witnesses subpoenaed to testify, the prosecution sought an adjournment so that they could attempt to subpoena the correct witnesses. However, during that hearing, our office was able to convince the Judge that the proper remedy based on the age of the case, the missing discovery and the inability to proceed on a scheduled hearing date, that the charges must be dismissed. So, after nearly eight months, the felony drug charges were ultimately dismissed outright. So our client went from facing up to five years in a state prison and a $35,000 fine, to having his charges outright dismissed, without having to use a diversionary program like the pretrial intervention program or conditional discharge. This was a tremendous benefit for our client who worked for the federal government.
Drug Charges Dismissed in New Jersey
If you have been placed under arrest and charged with a drug offense like the possession of heroin, the distribution of crack cocaine, the possession of steroids, the distribution of marijuana or any other drug offense for that matter in Monmouth County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. We defend those accused of crimes in courts throughout Monmouth County, including courts in towns like Middletown, Belmar, Manalapan, Freehold, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Tinton Falls, Eatontown and Wall Township. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys, then please contact us at 732.858.6959 or email us. These are very serious charges, that if not handled properly could drastically affect your life.
State v. M.Z. (Nov. 2017)