Success Stories

Marijuana & Drug Paraphernalia Charges Downgraded to Ordinance

Our Hudson County marijuana defense lawyers recently defended a young father who had been arrested by Harrison police after a concerned citizen called in to report a suspicious vehicle sitting a gravel parking lot off the main road. The gravel parking lot is a municipal lot that is typically used by commuters who park their during the day while at work in the city. However, the caller thought it was suspicious because the car was there on a non-commuting day late a night and they thought someone might be sitting inside the vehicle. When police arrived to investigate the area based on the call, they spotted our client and a passenger sitting in the car, which was running. Police can typically approach a parked vehicle that they deem suspicious based on something we call the “community caretaking” function. This gives them wide latitude to go up to a vehicle and talk to the occupants inside to make sure everyone is okay and that there is nothing illegal taking place. And that is just what this officer did – but when he approached to the car to speak with our client, he smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car which quickly escalated the situation. Courts in New Jersey have decided that the odor of marijuana is evidence of criminal activity taking place and based on that, police can remove you from the car to be detained while they search the vehicle without a warrant to find evidence of marijuana use.

Multiple Drugs Charges Result in No Criminal Conviction

Based on the smell of the marijuana the police officer removed our client and the passenger from the car and a subsequent search revealed marijuana, a smoking pipe and a pill of MDMA. After finding the drugs, the police officer began to question our client and his passenger as to whose drugs it was that he found in the car. Our client admitted that the marijuana and smoking pipe were his and the passenger took responsibility for the MDMA. He was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana under 2C:35-10a(4), Drug Paraphernalia under 2C:36-2 and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in a Motor Vehicle under 39:4-49.1 and given a court date to report into court. Based on these charges our client was looking at up 6 months in county jail on each criminal charge (although incarceration is unlikely for a first time offender) and a realistic 3 year loss of his driver’s license and a year of probation. This was the first time our client had ever been in trouble and he hired our law firm with the hopes of keeping his record clean and not losing his driver’s license. After receiving and reviewing the evidence, it appeared on the surface that everything was pretty cut and dry and done properly. The police had a reasonable suspicion to approach and investigate the vehicle in the first place and had probable cause to search our client’s vehicle based on the smell of the marijuana. But after further review there was one big thing missing – there was no signed Miranda card by our client proving that he knowingly waived his right to self-incrimination when he spoke to the police and allegedly took responsibility for the marijuana that was found within the car. Based on this issue and the fact that the passenger had already taken responsibility for the pill, the Court agreed to downgrade the criminal charges against our client to a municipal town ordinance which only carried a $300 fine and no criminal conviction. Our client was ecstatic and grateful for all our effort that resulted in no criminal record and we were happy to help a young father who was deserving of a break. To learn more about how our Hudson County criminal attorneys may be able to help you or your loved one, give us a call today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation during which time we can discuss the facts of your particular case and your options.

Criminal Sexual Contact Downgraded to Disorderly Conduct

Non-U.S. Citizen Avoids Conviction for Criminal Sexual Contact

Our office recently defended a client who was charged with Criminal Sexual Contact under 2C:14-3, a 4th degree indictable crime. Our client had allegedly groped a female passenger on a public bus as she slept next to him. The complaint alleged that the woman woke up in the middle of the defendant molesting her breasts and crouch. Witnesses, who included the bus driver, locked the defendant on the bus until the police could come. The victim claimed that this wasn’t the first time she had problems with our client during the daily bus rides.

Client Secures a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense After Being Denied PTI

Our client was adamant that the incident did not happen the way the charges alleged and would not plead guilty to the felony charge. To complicate things further our client was not a U.S. citizen and here on a work visa, so a felony conviction could result his deportation from the country. In order to avoid a felony conviction, we applied our client for Pre-Trial Intervention but the County Prosecutor’s Office denied his admission based on the nature of the crime and the victim’s strong opposition against it. We then began to challenge that state’s evidence against our client in preparation of future litigation down the line. Based on the issues our attorneys were able to raise, the prosecutor agreed to downgrade the fourth degree felony Criminal Sexual Contact to a petty disorderly persons offense of Disorderly Conduct with no probation or incarceration. Our client consulted with an immigration attorney and felt confident that the downgraded charge would not affect his immigration. In the end, our client was able to walk out of court with no felony convictions and only paying a few hundred in fines.

State v. A.K. decided on May 10, 2017

New Jersey Shoplifting Charges Dismissed

We recently defended a client who had been charged with shoplifting from a convenience store. Our client had no prior record and was adamant about avoid a conviction and any possible jail. However, shoplifting cases can be very tough since almost all major stores employ their own security, referred to a Loss Prevention Officers, who are trained on what type of suspicious activity to look for and to document it properly. Moreover, it is standard for them to record all alleged acts or attempts to shoplift and to introduce these videotapes in court to use against the defendant. In order to secure a victorious outcome for our client, our attorneys had to use an aggressive defense strategy and attack the State’s case and challenge whether they could actually meet their burden of proof to convict our client. Eventually, after the matter could not be worked out, it was set for a trial. On the trial date, the State was unprepared to try the case because they still could not meet their burden and requested an adjournment. However, our criminal attorneys made an application to dismiss based on the fact that our client and the State each had ample time to prepare for trial. After some consideration, the Judge granted our motion and all charges were dismissed. Our client was able to walk out of court with their record intact and without having to pay any fines or fees to the court.

State v. S.C.

Prostitution & Drug Paraphernalia Charges Dismissed

We recently defended a client against several criminal charges that included prostitution and drug paraphernalia. Our client had been arrested after police received a tip from a concerned citizen about potential criminal activity and prostitution taking place at a local motel. Police arrived at the motel and after talking to the supervisor, they quickly ascertained which room our client was staying in. The police then alleged that once our client opened the door to speak with them they could see drug paraphernalia in plain view. However, the cops didn’t stop their investigation there and had a growing suspicion that there was more going on then just drug use. In the end, based on the statements of the witness, our client, and the items found in the room, she was charged with engaging in prostitution.

At court, our client admitted she had battled drug addiction for many years but was adamant that she had not committed an act of prostitution. The prosecutor, on the other hand, was not swayed by her story and given the circumstances and evidence against our client, the prosecutor was unwilling to entertain any downgrade or dismissal. However, that did not stop us and we continued to fight on behalf of our client and argued that much of this evidence could not be used at trial because of potential suppression issues. In the end, based on these challenges, the prosecutor completely dismissed the prostitution charges against our client.

State v. A.D.

Resisting Arrest & Theft of Services Downgraded to City Ordinance

Our Jersey City criminal defense lawyers recently represented a young lady who was charged with resisting arrest and theft of services at the path station after a mistake that quickly turned into a bad situation with serious consequences. Our client was walking into the path station when she followed other through the handicapped entrance to the train station and did not pay for her ticket. Nearby police saw her walk through and stopped her because she had no obvious handicap that would exclude her from regular payment. However, as they were questioning her, the officers became momentarily distracted because of another situation and our client panicked and tried to slip away from the officers by quickly walking out of the path station as their backs were turned. By the time the officers noticed, our client was long gone and they had to call for back up and check cameras to see where she had gone. Eventually they were able to track her down outside the station and she was charged with Theft of Services 2C:20-8a and Resisting Arrest 2C:29-2a for initially eluding their capture.

Our client was arrested and processed and received a notice to appear in court. After that her arrest, she contact our office and explained the situation as well as the fact that she was a young professional and could not afford a criminal conviction on her record. We explained that these charges can often be tough to defend but that we would do everything in our power to help her. We immediately entered a plea of “not guilty” with the court and requested all the evidence in order to see how we could challenge the case against our client. In the end, we had to appear in the court several times but, based on the circumstances, we were eventually able to convince the prosecutor to amend the charges to a local city ordinance that only resulted in a small fine and no criminal record. If you or your loved one has been charged with theft of services or resisting arrest like the example above, contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case and how we may be able to help.

State v. J.M.

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Restraining Order Dismissed at Trial

Our office recently represented a client in a final restraining order hearing based on allegations brought against him by his ex-wife, the plaintiff, in a temporary restraining order. The two had been divorced for a number of years but still interacted because they had three shared children together from the previous marriage. The ex-wife had alleged that our client had harassed her through text messages and then assaulted her during a child drop off meeting.

At trial, our attorneys cross examined the plaintiff and pulled out inconsistencies and misrepresentations in her testimony of the alleged events. Moreover, in support of our client’s defense, we presented evidence to support his innocence and future challenge the plaintiff’s testimony. After a two day trial, the judge ruled that the facts did not warrant a final restraining order to be put in place and she dismissed the temporary restraining order previously set against our client. The court’s finding was directly supported by the fact they we had successfully challenged the plaintiff’s credibility and the judge did not believe her testimony. If you or a loved one has been charged with a restraining order, then contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

Simple Assault Dismissed & Expungement Order Same Day

We recently defended a client who had been charged and arrested for simple assault under 2C:12-1a after Union City police showed up to her residence on a call of alleged domestic violence. Upon arrival, the police were met by our client and she advised them that her and her fiance got into a heated argument after he arrived home. She explained that he had left earlier in the night to run some errands but that she had a feeling he was up to no good. At some point she found out that he had been drinking and suspected he was then driving around so she demanded that he come home immediately and then that is when the confrontation started.

After speaking with our client the police officers then decided to interview her fiance in order to better assess the situation. However, upon speaking with him they immediately noticed that he had redness to the left side of his face. When they asked what the redness was from he told them that his fiance had punched him with a closed fist to the eye after he arrived home with the car because he had been drinking. Based on the statements of both individuals and the physical evidence from the redness in the face, the police arrested and charged her with simple assault and served her with a mandatory court date in municipal court after she was processed and released.

The couple quickly made up after the fight and actually kept their wedding plans and were married shortly after the incident, which was before we appeared on our first court date. Like many couples they had their ups and downs and our client was a professional with no prior record who said things just escalated that night based on the stress of the wedding and some other factors going on. With this in mind we requested and the evidence the state planned to use against our client and quickly discovered that the police never got a statement from our client that she actually purposed punched the victim and there were no pictures of the injuries. Moreover, based on the fact that they had patched their relationship and were attending couples counseling, her now husband said that he did not want to testify against her and exercise his spousal privilege. Based on these facts, our simple assault lawyers successfully argued that the case should be dismissed, and the judge ordered the dismissal after hearing from both the defense and prosecutor.

State vs. M.C. decided November 6, 2017

Simple Assault Dismissed Against Wife After Domestic Violence Fight

Our Jersey City criminal defense attorneys recently represented a former-military client who had been charged criminally with simple assault under 2C:12-1a and criminal mischief under 2C:17-3a after an alleged altercation with his then girlfriend. Each of these charges required appearance in municipal court. To make matters worse for our client, she also filed a temporary restraining order against him and was attempting to get a final restraining put in place. Although restraining orders are considered civil or “quasi” criminal by nature, they actually require an appearance before a County Superior Court Judge. There is no mistaking that these charges are always serious but they held even greater consequences for our client who was a gun owner and in the process of trying to become a police officer. If he lost any aspect of either case, he could kiss his future and his guns goodbye.

The allegations in this case were ugly, like many domestic violence cases, and these situations normally come down to a “he said she said” scenario where a judge may have to make credibility findings on who they believe is telling the truth. These allegations surrounded a night of drinking that escalated into a verbal argument and eventually turned physical. In particular, the plaintiff alleged that our client became aggressive and pushed her face, at which time she attempted to leave his residence but he grabbed her ripping her blouse. He then forced her into his bedroom and stated that he did not want her to leave. The plaintiff then testified that she remained there out of fear of being hurt again if she tried to leave. She was not able to escape until the defendant began vomiting and went to the bathroom.

In most domestic violence cases, passions and emotions run high and this situation was no different. The plaintiff was adamant that she wanted to pursue the restraining order even though they had been dating only days earlier. At the final restraining order trial the judge heard detailed accounts and testimony from both her and our client and considered evidence that was introduced. Based on the testimony that our attorney elicited through cross-examination of the plaintiff, the judge denied her final restraining order outright and dismissed the temporary restraining order previously put in place. Once the restraining order had been dismissed against our client, we appeared back in municipal court and took a hard position against the prosecutor based on the fact that our client had no prior record and the restraining order had been dismissed at the county. In the end, after some back and forth and plea negotiations, all the criminal charges were also dismissed against our client.

State vs. J.G. decided on September 5, 2017

M.B.R. vs. J.G. decided July 19, 2017

Simple Assault, Criminal Mischief & Restraining Order Dismissed At Trial

Shoplifting Charges in Union City Dismissed

Shoplifting charges are very common in Union City and our criminal defense attorneys frequently appear in the municipal court to defend clients against various disorderly persons offenses including shoplifting. In fact, our attorneys were recently able to secure a dismissal of a shoplifting charge against one of our clients after the case was set for trial and the state’s witness failed to show. Without the witness’ testimony the prosecutor was unable to prove the case.

Shoplifting charges are serious and a conviction will carry various consequences and penalties that could affect your life. Shoplifting, like all Theft Crimes, is based on the amount of merchandise allegedly taken. For instance anything under $200 is a considered a disorderly persons offense punishable by up to 6 months in county jail. Moreover, all disorderly persons offenses will be handled in Union City Municipal Court. If the amount is $200 and over then the charges will be upgraded to an indictable crime and sent to Hudson County Superior Court. Almost all indictable crimes in Hudson County are sent to Central Judicial Processing to be screened by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Depending on the facts and merchandise alleged, we are often able to secure a downgrade of the shoplifting charges when we appear with our clients in CJP and have the case remanded back down to municipal court as a less serious crime.

Contact Union City NJ Shoplifting Defense Lawyers

Shoplifting is often the result of depression or unwanted side effect of medication. Therefore, it is often habitual and many clients can be repeat offenders. Therefore, it is important to point out that a 3rd offense for shoplifting (no matter what degree or amount) will result in mandatory incarceration. Moreover, shoplifting is considered a crime involving moral turpitude “CIMT” and may therefore affect your immigration status and result in removal proceedings if you are not a U.S. citizen. If you or your loved one has been arrested or charged with shoplifting in Union City, New Jersey then contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

Shoplifting Charges

Our office recently defended a client who had been placed on probation for conspiracy to distribute drugs and possession of an assault weapon under 2C:39-9g but then violated his probation by moving out of state and not reporting (referred to as absconding) for several years. His whereabouts were officially unknown for approximately twelve (12) years while he was on the run as a fugitive. However, during this time he had gotten married, had children, and secured a good job in Florida. Recently he was arrested in Florida after being pulled over for speeding and it came up in the system that he had a violation for probation in New Jersey from years earlier. Based on this the Florida police took him into custody for several weeks until he could be extradited back up to New Jersey to address his old charges.

We were able to speak with the County Prosecutor and probation officer assigned to the case and put forth a compelling argument that our client had turned his life around now and that this amounted to a substantial change of circumstances from the original charges. Moreover, we were able to convince the court that any further incarceration would only act as a giant set back and create a hardship for our client and his family instead of serving to help. Based on these persuasive arguments, the prosecutor and probation officer agreed to dismiss the case against our client and release him from jail that day so he could be reunited with his family and return to Florida.

State v. W.W. decided October 21, 2016