2nd Degree Drug Distribution Amended to Ordinance
March 16, 2015
Our criminal defense attorneys recently defended a client who had been charged and arrested for distributing the popular party drug known as “Molly”. Officers arrested our client and a co-defendant after allegedly witnessing drug sales being conducted. Our client was a college student with no prior record but he was charged with a second degree crime and was facing 5 – 10 years in state prison that carries a presumption of imprisonment even as a first time offender. To make matters worse, he was an out-of-state resident of Philadelphia, and was immediately taken into custody and incarcerated in the County Jail on a $50,000 bail with no 10% option (cash or bond only). Once retained, we immediately contacted the County Superior Court and had a Bail Reduction Hearing scheduled. During that hearing, we were able to offer compelling factors to the Superior Court Judge presiding over the case and were successful in getting the bail reduced so our client’s family could bail him out.
In the following months, we received discovery from the court and began challenging the proof issues that the State was relying on to prosecute our client. It became evident that the police improperly tested the alleged “molly” being sold by our clients, and that they could not prove that the substance was, in fact, a narcotic. At that point, the County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to downgrade the 2nd degree distribution charges to a disorderly persons offense and sent the case back down to municipal court. This was already a tremendous victory for our client because he no longer faced the very real possibility of mandatory prison incarceration and a felony record. However, once in municipal court we continued to press the State on their weaknesses in the case and we were ultimately able to the resolve the matter when we got the municipal prosecutor to a downgrade the drug charge to a municipal ordinance violation. Municipal ordinances to do not carry any record and are typically only punishable by a fine. Our client was able to walk out of court after only paying a small fine and with no criminal record after he once faced mandatory state prison incarceration of up to 10 years. Needless to say, it was a life changing event for him. If you or your loved one has been charged or arrested for drug distribution in New Jersey, contact our office today at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation to see how our criminal attorneys may be able to help you.
State v. I.I.