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A Hackensack man and his mother were recently arrested after police executed a search warrant at their Passaic Street home on Aug. 7. The search resulted in drug charges and weapon charges against the 20-year-old man and a child endangerment charge against his 42-year-old mother.

Inside the home, authorities claim to have discovered marijuana, a pellet gun and an assault rifle. That led to charges against the man for possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, possession with intent to distribute and possession of a large-capacity magazine. The young man was held on $250,000 bail.

His mother was charged because her 6-year-old daughter was inside the house at the time of the raid, which happened at 5:30 a.m. The woman was released without bail, but the child was removed from the home and placed in the custody of the Division of Youth and Family Services. Police claim the search resulted from a one-month narcotics investigation.

The resolution of these criminal charges will depend on a number of factors, including whether prosecutors can prove that the weapons and drugs actually belonged to the man and whether they were possessed for additional criminal intent. As for the charges against the mother, considerations include whether she knew the drugs and weapons were in the home while her young daughter stayed there.

Police and prosecutors typically claim they have irrefutable evidence against defendants, and most news sites mirror that kind of claim. Still, criminal charges are not always as cut and dry as the authorities would like us to believe, and New Jersey residents who have been accused of a crime should do what is legally in their power to protect their rights and freedom.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Hackensack man faces drug, weapons charges; mother charged with child endangerment," Rebecca Baker, Aug. 7, 2012

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