Our Hudson County criminal defense lawyers recently defended a client who had been arrested outside his residence after committing an alleged car burglary. The whole incident happened after a police officer had allegedly spotted our client peering into car windows and attempting to enter various vehicles parked along the road. The police had been watching this area because in recent weeks there had been several car burglaries with no forced entry reported by residents. After watching him try to gain entry into a second vehicle, the police officer stopped him for questioning. Our client was adamant that he had done nothing wrong and the police was mistaken it what he had witnessed. However, our client was admittedly very intoxicated and a heated exchange between him and the police took place leading up to his arrest. After assessing the evidence, the police decided to charge him with a third degree felony for Burglary under 2C:18-2a and Conspiracy to commit the Burglary under 2C:5-1a(1). These charges carried a sentence of up to 3 – 5 years in state prison and, although our client was a professional, he had already exhausted his Pre-Trial Intervention years earlier while in college so he was not eligible for a diversion program.
Based on the above facts, our client could absolutely not afford a felony conviction or the possibility of incarceration because he would no doubt lose his job. This meant that we had to challenge the evidence against our client in order to achieve a dismissal or substantial downgrade. We first appeared in Hudson County Superior Court where we were able to secure a substantial downgrade of the burglary charge down to a disorderly persons offense of trespass. From there the case was remanded to the municipal court to be prosecuted. Once the case was transferred back to municipal court, we were able to have the case further downgraded to a local town ordinance after speaking with the prosecutor and arresting officers. This was a huge win for our client because the ordinance did not result in a criminal conviction on his record and was only punishable by fine.
State v. G.R. decided on August 16, 2017