Our New Jersey criminal attorneys recently defended a client who had been pulled over and arrested for third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance after troopers found a suboxone pill. The whole thing started after a trooper pulled over our client’s car because his brake light was out. Once he approached the car however he claimed to smell burnt marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle. Based on the smell, the trooper requested him to step out of the car and placed him under arrest. The trooper searched our client and the inside of the vehicle and turned up one pill of suboxone in his wallet which was in his outer front right sweatshirt pocket. Surprisingly, however, the trooper did not find any marijuana or signs of marijuana use such as pipe, roach, baggies, and failed to note whether even our client had bloodshot eyes.
Based on the fact that suboxone is a powerful opiate prescription drug, it is classified as a third degree indictable crime that is punishable by 3 – 5 years in state prison. As such, the case was sent to the County Superior Court to be handled by the County Prosecutor’s Office. In anticipation of the Superior Court appearance, our attorneys spoke with the prosecutor assigned to the case and expressed our concerns based on the credibility of the officer and the reasons for the search of our client and his car because no marijuana or indication of marijuana use was found by the trooper who used that as his sole basis to arrest and conduct the search. Based on these glaring issues, the prosecutor’s office agreed to downgrade the charge and remand it back down to municipal court. However, the case did not stop there – and the case was listed multiple times over several months as the municipal prosecutor of the mindset to prosecute the case to his fullest ability. Eventually, we had go over the prosecutor’s head and address certain issues and deficiencies directly with the judge who signed an order we had drafted to produce missing evidence that would support the defenses’ case. After those items could not be produced within the judge’s allotted time frame, our prescription drug defense attorneys were able to successfully argue that all the charges be dismissed in their entirety. If you or your loved has found yourself in a similar position like the case above, feel free to give our office a call for a free consultation with one of our experienced drug lawyers who can answer your questions.
State v. J.M. decided September 26, 2017