Little Falls NJ Marijuana Possession Lawyers
Drug Crime Attorneys in Essex County, New Jersey
Travis J. Tormey recently defended a client against charges of possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in Little Falls, New Jersey. Our client is a college student at Montclair State University and does not have any kind of criminal record in New Jersey. He originally lived in New Orleans and subsequently moved to NJ so that he could attend college.
The client’s parents contacted the Tormey Law Firm because they needed a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent their son in this case, which involved multiple disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors). Since the charges against the client were so serious, he faced serious penalties that included: a fine of $1,000, six months in the local county jail, and a permanent criminal charge on his record. With a criminal record, the client would have difficulty in the future as he sought student loans to cover his college tuition and looked for a good job after graduating.
As soon as Mr. Tormey got the State’s initial discovery package, he noticed that it was missing a lab report on the alleged drugs in the case. The discovery package had police reports and videos, but the lab report was crucial because it meant that the State could not prove that the seized substance was actually marijuana. That’s why drug cases in New Jersey require the prosecution to send the substance to the NJ State Police lab to be officially tested. In this case, the prosecution also needed the lab to verify that a pipe found on the client was actually used for illegal drugs, not tobacco.
In the past few months, the New Jersey State Police lab has been on the receiving end of a great deal of negative media coverage, especially after revelations that a lab technician signed off on positive lab results without actually conducting tests on alleged drug substances. The lab tech was eventually fired and the New Jersey criminal justice system has been overrun with several appeals of earlier drug crime convictions.
This was the backdrop against which our client was being charged with marijuana possession. Beyond that, our client’s right to a speedy trial was also being violated. When the State failed to produce the necessary lab report within five months, the judge in the case ordered the prosecution to come forward with the lab reports within 30 days or risk having the evidence excluded from trial. The 30-day time period came and went, prompting Mr. Tormey to file for a dismissal of all charges against the client. The judge agreed and dismissed the marijuana possession charges, meaning that our client was able to stay out of jail and avoid getting a criminal conviction on his record.
This was a fantastic outcome for the client and a huge victory for the Tormey Law Firm.