Plainfield Drug Charge Lawyers
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The law firm of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC regularly handles drug-related cases in New Jersey. Our criminal defense attorneys have many years of experience guiding Plainfield clients through criminal drug cases. Gary Grabas and Casey Woodruff are former County Prosecutors. Jon Bramnick is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer.
If you have been charged with a serious drug offense in Plainfield, your case could possibly include some or all of the following stages:
Most drug arrests in Plainfield are made by the Plainfield Police Division. The Police Division is located at 200 East Fourth Street. The Division is comprised of six Bureaus, which include the Administrative Bureau, Community Relations, Criminal Investigation Bureau, Information Technology, Narcotics Bureau, Service Bureau and Uniform Bureau. The Plainfield Police Division Acting Director is Martin Hellwig.
Drug arrests made by Plainfield Police require probable cause. The term “Probable Cause” generally refers to a police officer’s reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime. For example, if a Plainfield police officer witnesses a person selling a white powdery substance to another person, the officer may have reason to believe that an unlawful sale of cocaine is occurring and would, therefore, have the probable cause to make an arrest.
Once an arrest has been made, the suspect is placed into custody and taken to the Plainfield Police Division headquarters to be photographed and fingerprinted.
Once in custody, the defendant may be granted an opportunity to post bail. Bail is money given by the defendant to assure the Court that he will return for his court appearances. In some circumstances, a defendant may be released on his “own recognizance,” which requires a written promise to return. If a defendant is released on his own recognizance, he does not have to pay bail money.
Whether a suspect can be released on his “own recognizance” is generally determined by the severity of the offense and the suspect’s criminal record. For example, a first time criminal offender arrested for possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana may possibly be released after promising to return for his court dates.
Serious drug-related offenses occurring in Plainfield are handled by the Criminal Division of Union County Superior Court. Union County Superior Court is located at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Thus, a defendant who has acquired a serious Plainfield drug charge must appear in Union County Superior Court.
The first court appearance is the arraignment. At the arraignment, the Court reviews the charge against the defendant and gives him the opportunity to answer the charge by entering a plea. For example, the defendant may respond with a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.”
The next step in a criminal drug case involves a grand jury proceeding. At a grand jury proceeding, the sufficiency of evidence (the existence of probable cause) is examined. If the grand jury determines there is sufficient evidence that the defendant committed the crime charged, the accused must stand trial.
Before trial begins, the prosecution and defense file motions concerning the evidence. These motions generally relate to the exclusion or inclusion of certain physical evidence and the exclusion or inclusion of particular witnesses. Often, motions to dismiss the case are filed as well.
A trial will determine the defendant’s guilt or innocence. At trial, the judge determines the law and the jury determines which facts are to be believed. It is the prosecution’s obligation to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime for which he is charged.
If the defendant is convicted of the serious drug offense, the Court will determine his sentence. The sentence may include fines, community service, probation, or imprisonment. In determining the sentence, the judge will examine numerous factors, including: the defendant’s remorse; the severity of the crime; the injury caused to persons or property; and the defendant’s financial or personal circumstances.
Once convicted after a trial, a criminal defendant can file an appeal. The appeal will ask a higher court to review the case. A conviction may be overturned by a higher court if, for example, the lower court misinterpreted the law or erred when imposing the sentence. If the Appellate Court determines an error was made, it may reverse the conviction or order a new trial.
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession or distribution in Plainfield, or any drug-related offense, and would like to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney, do not hesitate to contact us.