Forgery, Prescription Drugs & Receiving Stolen Property Downgraded to Ordinance

We recently defended a client who was charged with multiple indictable crimes including 2 counts of Forgery under 2C:21-1Receiving Stolen Property under 2C:20-7Possession of Prescription Drugs under 2C:35-10.5d and Identity Theft under 2C:21-7. The allegations were that she had used stolen prescription pad blanks and forged the doctor’s signature in order to obtain prescription drugs from a pharmacy under a fake name. Based on the seriousness of the charges, the case was sent to the Superior Court to be handled by the County Prosecutor’s Office. At this point our office contacted the prosecutor’s office to notify them of our representation and request additional information and evidence. We also prepared our client that there was the very real possibility that she could be facing state prison based on the severity of the charges and her prior criminal record. However, our client caught a huge break the prosecutor had an opportunity to do an initial screening and review and determined to downgrade the charges to disorderly persons offenses and send them back down to municipal court.

Once in municipal court, our criminal lawyers again began to dig in and fight the charges that had been lodged against our client. We began by serving the municipal prosecutor with an extensive list of requested evidence that we believed the state would need to produce in order to try and successfully prove the charges against our client. Eventually the state failed to produce several of these items of evidence, including surveillance tapes from the pharmacy that were used to eventually identify our client after the fact. In the end, our Middlesex County criminal attorneys were successful at arguing that, based on these evidentiary deficiencies, the state could not prove the case and the prosecutor agreed to amend the final charge to a township ordinance, only punishable by a fine and no criminal record, while all the remaining criminal charges were dismissed outright. Ultimately, our client went from looking at the very real possibility of a felony conviction and several years in state prison to absolutely no criminal record and no incarceration.

State v. J.E. decided July 5, 2017

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.