Drug charges are taken very seriously in New Jersey. Sentencing for individuals convicted of drug crimes, however, can vary dramatically. Factors considered in sentencing include the amount of drugs found on the individual, the type of substance seized, specific drug charge including whether the person is charged with drug possession or drug manufacturing, the age of the defendant, and of course, whether the defendant has a history of drug charges.
Charges of drug possession can have serious consequences and have a lasting effect on a person's personal and professional life. The impact can be even more severe when the drug charge includes possessing with the intent to distribute, especially near a school or park where young children congregate. Two Fort Lee brothers learned this lesson the hard way.
In most areas of the country, drug crimes are prosecuted aggressively, and a conviction can result in long-term negative consequences that can greatly affect the life of those accused. From long, mandatory prison sentences to expensive fines to lengthy probation requirements, a drug crime conviction can decimate a person's life, resulting in a criminal record, a broken family and a bad reputation.
Crimes involving drugs often include illegal narcotics like crack cocaine, methamphetamine and other street drugs. However, some legal prescription drugs are narcotics and may be addictive and harmful. It is becoming more common to see drug charges related to prescription medicine when those drugs are not prescribed or used as intended.
Drug offenses generally carry severe penalties, which may include prison time or the suspension of the offender's driver's license. Arrests leading to a subsequent drug charge can result from a routine traffic stop.
A third person was arrested on Sept. 25 in connection with a sting that resulted in a drug charge bonanza in Maywood, New Jersey. The incident raises questions about how police determined who was responsible for the drugs found at the scene and how suspects can successfully defend themselves in court.
Sometimes a simple traffic stop can lead to more serious criminal charges if the individuals are involved in an alleged illegal act, but police have to have probable cause to search vehicle. If a search of the vehicle yields evidence of illegal activity, then police officers can make arrests unrelated to the initial cause of the stop, as shown in a recent Little Ferry case. But, again, the question of probable cause should always be asked.
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.
The city of Hackensack has invested tens of thousands of dollars to renovate local parks. This includes the installation of lighting at an artificial turf at one park and adding a refreshment stand at the clubhouse of another. Although the changes seem to have attracted more people to the area, police are cracking down on certain activities in the park including dice games.
A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to second-degree racketeering charges after a drug-smuggling operation was discovered at the East Jersey State Prison. The man was convicted of smuggling drugs and cell-phones. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that he be sentenced to five years in state prison.