It is the state’s job to establish the burden of proof and produce enough legal evidence to support an accusation and justify the case to move forward. Without it, the prosecution may not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were engaging in illegal drug possession. To achieve that, the prosecution needs to prove three elements per New Jersey law.
The first element is legality – evidence that you had an intoxicating drug in your possession that is considered illegal or a controlled substance according to state laws. Prosecutors may use laboratory results from chemical tests conducted on the substance to prove this element. The second element is your knowledge of the drug – proof that you knew the drug you were carrying is illegal and fully aware of its presence.
Finally, the prosecution must show proof of your control of the drug. That means you were in full control of the drug, including its presence and location. This third element is more easily proved if the drug was found on your person. Without all three elements, the prosecution’s case is weakened.
A Drug Crime Attorney’s job is to analyze and challenge every piece of evidence presented by the state to keep them out of the courtroom and prove inadmissibility when possible. A judge must carefully consider if there is enough admissible evidence to support bringing your drug crime charge to trial. Cases without strong enough supporting evidence are likely to be dismissed.
While each case is different and results vary, drug crime accusations in New Jersey usually mean severe punishments and expensive fines, especially if you decide to fight charges on your own without a seasoned Drug Crime attorney.
Is it Bad to Get a Public Defender for my Drug Crime Case?
The short answer is that it depends. While every person charged with a crime has the legal right to representation, the state will only provide a public defender option to those who qualify. Usually, a person will need to have an income less than 25% above the poverty line.
The reality is that public defenders cannot choose which cases they will take on, nor how many cases at once. This usually results in a large workload and very little time to pick up client phone calls or give them any kind of one-on-one attention. Many people facing drug charges cannot afford to choose between hiring a private criminal defense attorney in Jersey City or going with a public defender, the latter being their only option.
However, if you are in a position that allows you to consider hiring a private attorney, Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, P.C. are ready to help you. Drug crime charges are serious matters in New Jersey, and every case is different. Our firm has assisted numerous clients fighting drug charges throughout Hudson County and can give your case the one-on-one attention you deserve. Call us at 201-798-4024.