Our office recently defended a client who had been charged with several serious drug distribution charges including second degree distribution of marijuana within 500 ft of public park, third degree marijuana distribution within a school zone, third degree marijuana distribution, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Our client was pulled over because the car he was driving was allegedly involved in a crime earlier in the day. Upon stopping our client, police searched his car because they said they smelled marijuana in the vehicle which gave them probable cause. A search of his car ended up turning up a substantial amount of marijuana in the trunk and he was arrested.
After his arrest, our client and his father came into our office and explained the situation to one our New Jersey drug defense attorneys who explained how we can help. To make matters worse, aside from facing mandatory state prison for the second degree charge, we quickly learned that our client was not a U.S. citizen and any conviction could lead to serious immigration consequences or possible deportation. So our criminal defense lawyers challenged the state’s case against our client and eventually negotiated that the charges be downgraded from second degree to a disorderly persons offense of simple possession of marijuana. From there we were able to secure a conditional discharge that did not result in a guilty plea or admission of guilt so that it would not affect his immigration status. This means that at the end of the six months, the charges will be dismissed in their entirety.
State v. A.G. decided June 14, 2017