According to a recent Asbury Park Press report, two individuals were arrested in the parking lot of a Jackson Township McDonald’s. Per the article, the arresting officer noticed “two suspicious individuals” in the parking lot. The officer’s observations led to the arrest of each person. One individual was charged with possession of heroin and hindering apprehension while the other was charged with possession of a hypodermic needle in addition to heroin possession.
The facts leading to the arrest are not presented in the article. However, under NJ law, an officer may conduct a field inquiry for any reason. If, as a result of the officer’s field inquiry, the officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that his or her safety is in jeopardy, then he is entitled to conduct a Terry frisk. Additionally, if a person under suspicion begins to flee, the officer then has probable cause to effectuate an arrest.
Hindering apprehension is a serious indictable offense that will be heard at the Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River. The offense is charged when an individual obstructs an officer from further investigating a possible crime. It may be graded as a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree offense depending upon the severity of the obstruction, whether force or coercion were used, and the severity of the underlying crime that is obstructed from the investigation. Here, the defendant will likely be charged at the third degree level.
Possession of heroin and possession of hypodermic needles are also severe indictable crimes that are unfortunately commonplace throughout Ocean County. The grading of heroin possession depends upon the amount of the drug on the individual.