Quick Tips: Investigated for Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana

Post Authored by Devon Jones

Quick Tips: Investigated for Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana

Tip #1: What is considered a simple possession of Marijuana?

In New Jersey, simple possession of marijuana is defined by the amount of grams. 50 grams or less is considered a disorderly persons offense, which is minor in comparison to the indictable crime of possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana. According to the New Jersey Statute, possession of 50 grams of marijuana or less carries maximum penalties of up to 6 months in a correctional facility and $1,000 in fines, but as outlined in a previous blog post, first time offenders are eligible for a conditional discharge.

Tip #2: Does possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana help me avoid being arrested?

The answer is no. Even if an individual does not have marijuana, but is in possession of drug paraphernalia they can be charged with a disorderly persons offense.

Tip #3: What are common factors in which charges of possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana have resulted?

Below is the list of New Jersey’s examples of less than 50 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia:
• Joint or roach in an ashtray and/or in plain view anywhere in a motor vehicle
• Small plastic baggy containing remnants of marijuana
• Marijuana seeds
• Rolling papers, bongs, pipes, chillums, one-hitters, scales and jars.
Ultimately, the item does not need to be used to smoke marijuana to constitute paraphernalia, it can be used to transport marijuana as well.

Tip #4: What charges may I face if I have possession of drugs in a motor vehicle?

Hypothetically speaking, If a driver is pulled over and rightfully searched for drugs and found with a dime bag of marijuana and rolling papers, the driver will charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and possession of drugs in a car which would be three separate charges.

Tip #5: What can I expect if I am found with more than 50 grams of marijuana?

If you are found with more than 50 grams of marijuana, it is noted that the charges increase and so do the penalties. According to the New Jersey Criminal Code, 50 grams of marijuana or more becomes a 4th degree crime, which is more serious than a disorderly persons offense. One should know that a 4th degree crime is indictable and must be brought to criminal court to be tried. If convicted, one may face up to 18 months in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Investigated for Suspicion of Driving While in Possession of Drugs?

Post Authored by Devon Jones

Quick Tips: Investigated for Suspicion of Driving While In Possession of Drugs

Tip #1: When is a police officer allowed to search my car?

Generally, an officer will only be allowed to conduct a search if a warrant is issued and supported by probable cause. Nevertheless, there are always exceptions. An officer conducting a traffic stop will not need a warrant in order to search your vehicle if they can show probable cause plus exigent circumstances. An Exigent Circumstance exists when it is impractical for police to preserve the evidence if required to undergo the hardship of obtaining a search warrant. This element will exist where an examination of the facts demonstrate rapidly unfolding, unpredictable events that involve an inherent risk of loss or destruction of evidence given the mobility of the automobile. Does this sound like a heavy burden to meet? It is. However, police will often try to fool you into thinking this burden has been met, thus encouraging you to consent to a search. Don’t do it. Remain calm and polite but tell them you know your rights and they will need to get a warrant in order to search your vehicle.

Tip #2: Can I get in trouble with the law if I am a passenger and drugs are found/seized?

The answer is yes. As a passenger, do not think that you can get away with having drugs on you.
According to (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10), it is noted that whether you are in the front-seat or back-seat, you can be arrested for possession of drugs.

Tip #3: How are drugs classified in the State of New Jersey?

In the State of New Jersey, drugs are classified based on their risk for abuse. It is simple, the higher the risk, the more severely they are classified (N.J.S.A. 24:21). Below is the list of New Jersey’s scheduled substances:• Schedule I: Extremely High Risk of Abuse (Heroin, Mescalin, LSD, Payote, Psilocybin)
• Schedule II: High Risk of Abuse (Opium, Cocaine, Methadone)
• Schedule III: Some Risk of Abuse (Amphetamines, Methamphetamine, Morphine, and Codeine)
• Schedule IV: Low Abuse Potential (Barbital and Phenobarbital)
• Schedule V: Slightly Lower Abuse Potential (Morphine and Codeine in Low Concentrations)

If you are caught with possession of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV drug is a third-degree criminal offense that may carry a prison sentence of 3-5 years and a fine of up to $35,000. Furthermore, possession of a Schedule V drug is a fourth-degree crime that may carry a prison sentence of up to eighteen months and a fine of up to $15,000.

Penalties for marijuana possession are directly related to the amount that is found. For more information on the penalties for marijuana possession [N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4)].

Tip #4: If the officer requests to search my car, do I have to consent?

The answer is no. We cannot stress the importance of enough, do not consent to a search of your vehicle!

Consenting to a search gives the officer approval to search even if he did not have probable cause. In other words, you are giving him the authority to do something that the law would not normally permit him to do. Ultimately, anything that he finds can be used against you because it was rightfully seized as per your consent.

Tip #5: What should I do if an officer asks me to step out of the motor vehicle?

In the event that an officer conducting a routine traffic stops asks you to get out of the car, you have to abide by the officer’s request. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the officer can search or seize anything illegal found in your car. Therefore, it is recommended that you abide by the following procedure when faced with this situation:

• Express your compliance verbally
• Turn your car off and take the keys out of the ignition
• Remove your safety belt and exit the vehicle cautiously
• Close and lock the doors of your vehicle
• Sit or stand where the officer asks you too

As a result of the outlined procedure, your car is protected from being unlawfully searched and will allow you to remain in control of who has access to your car.

 

CALL THE LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT F. BLACK, JR., TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION



 

AWARD WINNING REPRESENTATION. COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE. COMMITTED TO JUSTICE. COMMITTED TO YOU.

Investigated for Suspicion of Driving While In Possession of Drugs?

Quick Tips: Investigated for Suspicion of Driving While In Possession of Drugs

Tip #1: When is a police officer allowed to search my car?

Generally, an officer will only be allowed to conduct a search if a warrant is issued and supported by probable cause. Nevertheless, there are always exceptions. An officer conducting a traffic stop will not need a warrant in order to search your vehicle if they can show probable cause plus exigent circumstances. An Exigent Circumstance exists when it is impractical for police to preserve the evidence if required to undergo the hardship of obtaining a search warrant. This element will exist where an examination of the facts demonstrate rapidly unfolding, unpredictable events that involve an inherent risk of loss or destruction of evidence given the mobility of the automobile. Does this sound like a heavy burden to meet? It is. However, police will often try to fool you into thinking this burden has been met, thus encouraging you to consent to a search. Don’t do it. Remain calm and polite but tell them you know your rights and they will need to get a warrant in order to search your vehicle.

Tip #2: Can I get in trouble with the law if I am a passenger and drugs are found/seized?

The answer is yes. As a passenger, do not think that you can get away with having drugs on you.
According to (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10), it is noted that whether you are in the front-seat or back-seat, you can be arrested for possession of drugs.

Tip #3: How are drugs classified in the State of New Jersey?

In the State of New Jersey, drugs are classified based on their risk for abuse. It is simple, the higher the risk, the more severely they are classified (N.J.S.A. 24:21). Below is the list of New Jersey’s scheduled substances:

• Schedule I: Extremely High Risk of Abuse (Heroin, Mescalin, LSD, Payote, Psilocybin)
• Schedule II: High Risk of Abuse (Opium, Cocaine, Methadone)
• Schedule III: Some Risk of Abuse (Amphetamines, Methamphetamine, Morphine, and Codeine)
• Schedule IV: Low Abuse Potential (Barbital and Phenobarbital)
• Schedule V: Slightly Lower Abuse Potential (Morphine and Codeine in Low Concentrations)

If you are caught with possession of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV drug is a third-degree criminal offense that may carry a prison sentence of 3-5 years and a fine of up to $35,000. Furthermore, possession of a Schedule V drug is a fourth-degree crime that may carry a prison sentence of up to eighteen months and a fine of up to $15,000.

Penalties for marijuana possession are directly related to the amount that is found. For more information on the penalties for marijuana possession [N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4)].

Tip #4: If the officer requests to search my car, do I have to consent?

The answer is no. We cannot stress the importance of enough, do not consent to a search of your vehicle!

Consenting to a search gives the officer approval to search even if he did not have probable cause. In other words, you are giving him the authority to do something that the law would not normally permit him to do. Ultimately, anything that he finds can be used against you because it was rightfully seized as per your consent.

Tip #5: What should I do if an officer asks me to step out of the motor vehicle?

In the event that an officer conducting a routine traffic stops asks you to get out of the car, you have to abide by the officer’s request. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the officer can search or seize anything illegal found in your car. Therefore, it is recommended that you abide by the following procedure when faced with this situation:

• Express your compliance verbally
• Turn your car off and take the keys out of the ignition
• Remove your safety belt and exit the vehicle cautiously
• Close and lock the doors of your vehicle
• Sit or stand where the officer asks you too

As a result of the outlined procedure, your car is protected from being unlawfully searched and will allow you to remain in control of who has access to your car.

 

CALL THE LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT F. BLACK, JR., TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION



 

AWARD WINNING REPRESENTATION. COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE. COMMITTED TO JUSTICE. COMMITTED TO YOU.

Legislators Move to Overhaul NJ Juvenile Justice System

Legislators Move to Overhaul NJ Juvenile Justice

By Devon Jones

The New Jersey Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on June 1, 2015 recommended final legislative passage of a bill, S2003, which would be sure to make changes in the juvenile justice system. According to the New Jersey Law Journal, the measure passed in a 5-3 vote and will now go to the full Assembly for consideration. The bill would make drastic changes in the juvenile justice system.

What changes would be made to the Juvenile Justice System? One of the most drastic changes will be seen in the minimum age at which a juvenile offender could be tried as an adult from the age of 14 or older. Experts suggest juveniles are becoming less impulsive and those who commit crimes think like adults and are less likely to be rehabilitated.

What steps must a prosecutor take to have a juvenile tried as an adult? According to the New Jersey Law Journal, prosecutors seeking to have a juvenile tried as an adult would have 60 days, rather than 30, to make that decision. It is noted that the prosecutor must provide the Family Court judge with written analysis outlining why the waiver is appropriate and substantial. However, the judge handling the waiver motion is permitted to deny the request at the conclusion of conducting his or her own analysis.

Will juveniles be able to be held in solitary confinement? Yes, juveniles can be subjected to solitary confinement, however there will be restrictions in place. If the juvenile in question is a threat to others, the safety of the facility, and all other restrictive measure were exhausted, the necessary officials can place the juvenile in solitary confinement. Facility personnel who handle the juvenile are required to documents every case as it relates to solitary confinement which should include dates, duration of each occurrence, reason for the placement, race, age and gender of the juvenile.
Considering the bill will now go to full Assembly for consideration, I will watch this closely to stay updated with the process. While the juvenile justice system has undergone vast changes over the years, I believe new changes will surface to match the present day dilemma. As evidenced by the article listed, lawmakers are looking at new ways to deal with juvenile crime by modifying existing practices to achieve their goals.

Source: Booth, Michael. “Legislators Move to Overhaul NJ Juvenile Justice System.” Njlawjournal.com. N.p., 2 June 2015. Web. 3 June 2015.

Major New Jersey DWI Law Change Proposal Goes to Governor’s Desk

Major New Jersey DWI Law Change Proposal Goes to Governor’s Desk

A proposed change in the New Jersey DWI law that would allow many first time offenders to avoid a lengthy license suspension, provided that the state is unable to convince the judge of aggravating circumstances, has hit Gov. Christie’s desk and is now awaiting his signature. The Governor has 45 days from February 5th to either sign or veto the bill.

Concerning the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (R.S.39:50-4), the bill revises the relevant penalty provisions as follows:

For a first offense, if that offense involved a person’s blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10%, or otherwise operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, the court would order a 10-day license suspension, during which the person would have to install an ignition interlock device in one motor vehicle owned, leased, or principally operated by the person, whichever the person most often operates, for three months, unless the court was clearly convinced, based on a series of aggravating factors outweighing mitigating ones as set forth in the bill, to instead order a license suspension of three months (the three month suspension would also apply instead of device installation if the person did not own or lease a motor vehicle and there was no motor vehicle the person principally operated). 

The aggravating and mitigating factors for consideration by the court to order a license suspension instead of device installation would include, but not be limited to: the nature and circumstances of the person’s conduct, including whether such conduct posed a high risk of danger to the public; the person’s driving record; whether the character and attitude of the person indicate that the person would be likely or unlikely to commit another violation; and the need for personal or general deterrence.

This is big news for both NJ drivers accused of DWI and for NJ DWI attorneys. If signed, drivers accused of DWI in NJ may be able to avoid a lengthy license suspension, thus allowing them to keep their jobs and maintain their normal routines. Most importantly, the law will still keep convicted drunk drivers from driving after consuming alcohol, at least during the imposition of the court’s order. This provision is rightly aimed at protecting the public. As for NJ DWI lawyers, we must prepare to argue mitigating factors for the court to consider in order for this provision to be applied to our client’s particular case.


 

Regardless of your circumstances, there are many things that can be done on your behalf if you have been charged with DUI or DWI in New Jersey. Robert F. Black, Jr. is eager to provide you with comprehensive and supportive representation and will explore all options to protect your rights – including the appropriateness of your motor vehicle stop, the accuracy and reporting of the  field sobriety testing information, and the adherence to the Alcotest procedures and protocols.

We understand that people make mistakes. We believe, however, that a DUI or DWI charge does not define you. Choosing the best New Jersey DUI attorney may afford you an otherwise elusive second chance.


 

CALL THE LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT F. BLACK, JR., TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION



 

AWARD WINNING REPRESENTATION. COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE. COMMITTED TO JUSTICE. COMMITTED TO YOU.

 

Long Branch Man Requests DNA Testing For Rape Conviction – Prosecutor Opposes

images (3)A Long Branch man, convicted decades ago of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in the city, has always maintained his innocence. Although Dion Harrell, 48, has been out of prison for about 17 years, after serving four years of an eight-year prison term, he still wants to clear his name. But the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is blocking Harrell’s attempt to have DNA from the 1988 crime analyzed to prove one way or another whether he is the man who committed the sexual assault. (From the Asbury Park Press – Click here for full article)

When I read this article several thoughts came to mind. My heart obviously goes out to the victim of this heinous crime. However, as an attorney my thoughts naturally turned to the important legal and moral issues presented by way of this motion.

Is It Possible That The Defendant Did Not Commit This Crime? While our justice system does a fairly good job of protecting against wrongful convictions, they do occur. Since 1989, there have been 325 exonerations nationwide as a result of DNA testing, according to the Innocence Project’s website. DNA testing is standard procedure today, yet this technology didn’t exist when this crime was committed. Instead, the defendant here was convicted based solely on a single witness identification. According to the Innocence Project, five of the eight DNA related exonerations in New Jersey were of defendants who were convicted of rape based on mistaken eyewitness identification by the victims.

Why Would The Defendant Seek DNA Testing When He Is No Longer Incarcerated? Naturally, a significant stigma comes with being convicted of any crime, especially one as deplorable as sexual assault. Moreover, as Mr. Harrell’s attorney Vanessa Potkin has pointed out, this conviction has thrown up roadblocks to his finding housing and employment because he is on the state’s sex offender registry. His address is readily displayed on the Internet on the sex offender registry, she points out. And Harrell has twice been incarcerated since serving his sentence because he failed to register his whereabouts with police, a requirement for certain sex offenders under Megan’s Law.

Why Would The State Oppose Such A Motion? While I have not read the pleadings from either side, I assume that the defendant filed a motion pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:84A-32a. This rule provides, in part, that any person who was convicted of a crime and is currently serving a term of imprisonment may make a motion before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction for the performance of forensic DNA testing.” The state argues that this statute does not apply because the defendant is no longer incarcerated. This brings to mind the issues of statutory interpretation and prosecutorial discretion. Will the court be required to follow the statute verbatim? If not, will the judge determine it is in the interest of justice to allow the DNA to be tested? With regards to prosecutorial discretion, is the prosecutor required to oppose this motion? Like many in the legal community I look forward to hearing these questions answered.

Other Than The Defendant, Could Society Benefit From A Conclusive Finding Here As Well? While there is a financial burden associated with litigating this matter and with any subsequent DNA testing, presumably it would be in the community’s best interest to know if it failed to apprehend and prosecute a rapist.

I will be watching very closely for the court’s determination here. While the issue is complex, I personally feel as though the interest of justice will be best served by allowing the DNA to be tested. In my opinion all parties involved here deserve closure. Despite the prosecutor’s arguments, a finality here has not been realized as evidenced by the very fact that this motion is scheduled to be heard. If the court finds that it is unable to grant this order due to restraints associated with the wording of the statute, I expect the defendant to petition to be heard in front of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

A Change In D.W.I. Law In New Jersey?

 NEW JERSEY DWI LAW CHANGE PROPOSAL

As New Jersey citizens prepare to celebrate the Holidays, our state Senators are preparing to vote on a proposed change in our drunk driving laws. Under the legislation — approved this summer in the Assembly by a 46-15 vote — first-time N.J. D.W.I. offenders would be required to install locks on their ignition systems that require a Breathalyzer-like test before their vehicle starts. These interlocking devices are currently in use, but only for repeat offenders or for individuals found guilty of driving with a BAC of .15 or greater.

Under current law, first-time D.W.I. offenders in New Jersey face a license suspension of three to 12 months, depending on how high their blood alcohol level is above the .08 percent legal limit. Each offender must also take part in a mandatory alcohol awareness class and pay the requisite fines and surcharges.

Under the proposed legislation, first offenders would be allowed to keep their licenses, but would have to rent the ignition lock and have it reviewed monthly to see if they attempted to start their vehicle while legally drunk. This proposal law protects citizens from the dangers of drunk-driving while allowing first time offenders to continue working and earning a living.

“An ignition interlock teaches a convicted drunk driver to drive sober, a suspended license does not,” says Frank Harris, state legislative affairs manager for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“States that have passed laws like this have seen significant reductions in drunk-driver fatalities,” says Harris. “It allows [drivers] to continue to go to work, to continue to provide for their family, but at the same time protecting the public as they are not driving drunk.”


Rob and his staff have successfully represented thousands of clients yet are committed to treating each and every case with maximum skill and attention. Our goal is to win for you. Plain and simple, your interests are our interests.

Our law firm is pleased to serve the following localities: Monmouth County, Asbury Park, Freehold, Long Branch, Middletown, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Belmar, Brielle, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro Township, Matawan, Oceanport, Shrewsbury, Essex County, Newark, Hudson County, Hoboken, Jersey City, Mercer County, Trenton, Middlesex County, Perth Amboy, and Plainsboro Township.

CALL THE LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT F. BLACK, JR., TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION



 

AWARD WINNING REPRESENTATION. COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE. COMMITTED TO JUSTICE. COMMITTED TO YOU.

Robert Black New Jersey Lawyer

Six Steps to Take After Being Accused of Drug Possession

© carla9 - Fotolia.comAn old adage “knowledge is power” is especially apt in context of drug arrest. Hence, current defendants and uncharged law-abiding citizens are strongly advised to carefully read and completely heed the list below of six steps to take after being accused of narcotics possession.

1. Minimize case compromise from consensual cooperation

Believe it or not, most criminal cases are built by the accused parties. This widespread paradox results from popular but misguided belief that cooperating with police makes things “go easier.” Reality is quite the contrary, however. Therefore, never consent to any search of person, vehicle or premises. There is nothing to gain and everything to lose by essentially giving law enforcement a license to disregard protective procedures to collect evidence for later use in your conviction.

2. Remain silent

Exercise your legal right to remain silent by refusing to answer questions without a lawyer present. This rule applies before and after actual arrest in addition to casual contacts that occur on public sidewalks for a brief “welfare check” that can escalate to body search and full interrogation. Instead of providing fuel to accelerate the situation, defuse it with a polite refusal and gratitude for the officers’ “concern” and immediately go on your way without another word.

3. Stay keenly aware of surroundings

Regardless of perceived final outcome or circumstances leading up to police contact, be very attentive to every detail and event that transpires throughout its entire duration. This means paying close attention and taking mental notes of possible witnesses and all statements and actions of officers.

4. Create detailed documentation

As soon as possible after the encounter ends, write a detailed account of all observations and impressions. Seemingly minor items may have enormous legal significance that lead to suppression of damaging evidence obtained from improper search or seizure or credible eyewitness testimony to corroborate your version of the events.

5. Be civil to officials

While not conceding one millimeter of legal ground, you must exhibit courtesy toward all official participants in your prosecution. Public officials have broad discretion for virtually opposite actions and decisions that are based on varying ulterior motives without appearing to stray beyond bounds of propriety. Candid remarks by judges and prosecutors are legion that reveal favorable treatment that would not been given — but for great admiration and respect for sterling behavior of an accused or convicted criminal during legal proceedings.

6. Lying to lawyers can defeat your legal defense

Unlike police and prosecutors, attorneys are legally and ethically obligated to protect only your interests. Like doctors who diagnose and treat serious diseases, lawyers need all the facts to make correct decisions. Thus, lying to either your doctor or lawyer can literally be fatal. Instead, spill your guts to give your defense attorney the entire story — no matter how ugly it may seem. Even if the state has an airtight case, certain information might enable your attorney to negotiate a better plea with a “bargaining chip” like testimony against a “big fish” drug kingpin.

Conclusion

A famous political commentator once posited “the price of freedom is constant vigilance.” When it comes to criminal defense, those words convey profound wisdom in every respect. They also illustrate precisely why representation by an experienced narcotics lawyer who fights for your legal rights with the zeal of bulldogs on bloodhounds is the best approach to prepare for your big day in court.

MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE. CALL THE LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT F. BLACK, JR. TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.

DISCLAIMER: This article and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Anyone to whom this communication is not expressly addressed should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from their legal advisor.

NJ Drug Possession Attorney – New Jersey Drug Possession Law: N.J.S.A.2C:35-10

NEW JERSEY DRUG POSSESSION LAW: 2C:35-10. Possession, use or being under the influence, or failure to make lawful disposition

N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:35-10
a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c. 226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.). Any person who violates this section with respect to:
(1) A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $35,000.00 may be imposed;
(2) Any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $15,000.00 may be imposed;
(3) Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or more than five grams of hashish is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed; or
(4) Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person.
Any person who commits any offense defined in this section while on any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of any such school property or a school bus, or while on any school bus, and who is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall, in addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, be required to perform not less than 100 hours of community service.
b. Any person who uses or who is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, for a purpose other than the treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or administered by a physician is a disorderly person.
In a prosecution under this subsection, it shall not be necessary for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of any specific drug, but it shall be sufficient for a conviction under this subsection for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of some controlled dangerous substance, counterfeit controlled dangerous substance, or controlled substance analog, by proving that the accused did manifest physical and physiological symptoms or reactions caused by the use of any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.
c. Any person who knowingly obtains or possesses a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog in violation of subsection a. of this section and who fails to voluntarily deliver the substance to the nearest law enforcement officer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude a prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this title or any other statute.

Watch Out For Those Pretty Paralegals

I came across an interesting story in the ABA Law Journal yesterday that was both humorous and a great example of how prosecutors and judges really dislike drama in the court room.

According to court documents, an attorney in Florida was arrested for DWI midway through a high-profile defamation trial after unwittingly having drinks with a seductive paralegal from the law firm representing his client’s opponent. The full article can be found here.

The smitten attorney, C. Philip Campbell contended that his January 23 arrest, a few blocks away from the steakhouse at which he and the paralegal had been drinking, was setup by the opposing firm in the libel case, Adams & Diaco (no relation to Hannan & Black).

The paralegal, with whom Campbell had been drinking with, reportedly did not identify herself as an employee of Adam & Diaco and told the trial lawyer she was a paralegal with another firm.

While the two were having drinks, Adam Filthaut (yes that is his real name), a lawyer at Adams and Diaco, called a DUI sergeant with a tip that Campbell was drinking and would be driving. The police waiting near the restaurant for two hours before spotting and arresting him. Campbell refused a breath test (not advisable in New Jersey) but was arrested anyway.

Mr. Campbell pleaded not guilty and the charges against him were dropped. A memo from the States Attorney’s office claimed lack of evidence for their decision not to proceed as well as a concern that the conduct of the police and the opposing law firm “would become a significant issue which would be exploited by the defense.”

An FBI investigation to determine whether Campbell’s civil rights were violated is reportedly ongoing.

Good stuff.

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