Early this week one of my attorneys, Keith Oliver appeared in a local Court in New Jersey on a drug possession case. The defendant was facing four criminal charges and a traffic violation. The criminal charges were as follows, possession of controlled dangerous substance, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10A(4), possession of drug paraphernalia, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2, possession of a controlled dangerous substance without a valid prescription, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5E(1) and possession of a prescription drug not in a valid prescription bottle, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24. Each of the aforementioned charges carries with it a potential of up to six months in jail, a thousand dollar fine and up to a six month loss of license.

The facts of the case are as follows, the defendant was pulled over for a generic traffic violation (speeding). A subsequent search by the arresting officers revealed not only prescription drugs but also marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The arresting officers attempted to justify the legality of the search on what is known as the plain view doctrine. A thorough analysis of the discovery by my staff, which include whats known as an MVR {video inside the cop car} revealed that the plain view doctrine may not be applicable. Pursuant to the unlawful possession of a prescription drug statute, when the defendant was able to provide the arresting officers with the doctors name who had lawfully prescribed him the prescription drugs in question, the charges became unwarranted.  In addition,  when the officers later searched the defendants car, without a warrant and without the defendants consent they again violated the defendants fourth amendment rights. As a result, the prosecution had no choice but to dismiss all criminal charges. This allowed for the defendant, who when he entered court, was facing up to 2 years in jail, $4,000.00 in fines and up to a 2 year loss of their drivers license to walk out of court with a modest $86.00 fine for speeding.