On Nov. 12, authorities reportedly took a 23-year-old man into custody after he was believed to be involved in a drug distribution scheme. He was accused of selling drugs around Engelwood in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Search warrants were served at the man's home. During the subsequent search of the home, authorities reportedly found crack cocaine and drug packaging materials. When his vehicle was searched, cocaine and a digital scale were recovered. The man was ultimately facing cocaine possession and distribution-related charges in addition to possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sent to the local jail on $50,000 bail.
New Jersey's cocaine laws are notoriously tough. Depending on the charges the person may be facing, the consequences could include significant fines and a lengthy prison sentence. If the drug offender is non-violent, there may be the opportunity to participate in a drug treatment program that will allow them to seek treatment.
There are several defenses that a criminal defense attorney may utilize depending on the situation. If search warrants were used to search the accused person's property, an attorney could potentially argue that the search warrants were baseless as there was no probable cause to request the warrant. If there is proof that any cocaine or equipment was tampered with once it was in police custody, the attorney may argue that the evidence should be considered to be inadmissible in court.
If the prosecution has strong evidence against the defendant, the attorney may negotiate a plea bargain that could reduce potential prison time. This may also prevent the person from having to undergo a lengthy trial that may result in more severe consequences.
Source: NJ.com, "Police arrest alleged Englewood drug dealer", Myles Ma, Nov. 16, 2015