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Burlington Township Man Arrested for Possession of Firearms, Marijuana

Burlington NJ Criminal Defense LawyerA man from Burlington Township was recently arrested on charges for possession of marijuana under 50 grams, intent to distribute marijuana, and multiple weapons offenses after police reportedly discovered four guns and marijuana in his residence.

This case began when officers from the Burlington Township Police Department conducted a traffic stop at approximately 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. During the stop, police discovered the driver, 26-year-old Burlington Township resident Gabriel Williams, had an outstanding warrant for his arrest out of Westampton in connection with a harassment charge.

After Williams was arrested, authorities proceeded to his residence located on Tattersall Drive in Burlington Township, where a search resulted in the seizure of a partially defaced semi-automatic handgun, a defaced semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a revolver, several high capacity magazines and additional ammunition, marijuana, and $5,050 in cash. Notably, all of the weapons confiscated in Williams’ residence were loaded at the time.

Now, Williams is facing a host of serious criminal charges, including: four counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, two counts of possession of a defaced firearm, possession of hollow-point ammunition, two counts of possession of a high capacity magazine, a certain persons offense, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana under 50 grams.

Williams was issued specific charges in connection with the various weapons found in his home because they qualify as “prohibited weapons and devices” under New Jersey law. For example, a defaced firearm is a prohibited weapon in New Jersey, meaning it is illegal for anyone to possess these items under any circumstances. Possession of a defaced firearm is a fourth degree crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3, Prohibited Weapons and Devices, and is punishable by up to 18 months in NJ State Prison. Hollow-point ammunition is also a prohibited weapon or device and as such, may lead to charges for a fourth degree crime.

Williams is also charged with a “Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons” offense, which applies to individuals who have been previously convicted of certain felonies. Under the statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 – Certain persons not to have weapons, any person who was convicted of aggravated assault, arson, burglary, escape, extortion, homicide, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, bias intimidation, endangering the welfare of a child, or any person who has been convicted of other than a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense for the unlawful use, possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance in New Jersey or another state, is prohibited from owning, purchasing, or possessing, or controlling a weapon in New Jersey. When the weapon in question is a firearm, this offense is a second degree crime, which may result in up to 10 years of incarceration if convicted.

For additional information regarding this case, access the following article: Cops say they found marijuana and 4 loaded guns in man’s home

Shoplifting Charges in Moorestown New Jersey

Moorestown NJ Shoplifting LawyersCharges for shoplifting are among the most common issued in Moorestown, New Jersey, as Moorestown Mall is a busy retail center full of shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater. Since it was built in 1963, the Moorestown Mall has expanded to include stores ranging from Best Buy to Foot Locker. Unfortunately, with so many people and products, the Moorestown Mall is also diligently monitored for potential shoplifters. When you are facing charges for shoplifting after an alleged incident in Moorestown, it is critical to understand the specific charges against you, the penalties you are facing, and your legal options. Leonard Biddison is a highly skilled criminal defense attorney who has successfully defended clients charged with the most serious shoplifting and theft crimes in Burlington County and throughout South Jersey. With over 20 years of practice on his side, he has the knowledge and experience you need on yours. To speak with Mr. Biddison about your shoplifting case in Moorestown or elsewhere in Burlington County, contact his office now at 856.427.6888 for a free consultation. Also, read on to learn more about the specifics of shoplifting offenses, grading, and penalties in New Jersey.

Shoplifting in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11

Shoplifting is a serious crime in New Jersey, outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. You can be charged with shoplifting for a variety of alleged actions, including the typical theft of merchandise, moving merchandise to another container, removing or altering a tag or label, or underringing merchandise for yourself or someone else. The grading of shoplifting offenses is similarly variable, as shoplifting can be classified is a disorderly persons offense, fourth degree crime, third degree crime, or second degree crime. The primary determinant of the grading of a shoplifting charge is the full retail value of the allegedly stolen merchandise.

The degrees and penalties for shoplifting charges as mandated under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 are as follows: Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense if the value of the merchandise is $200 or less. Disorderly persons offenses are punishable by imprisonment for up to 6 months and a maximum fine of $1,000. If the merchandise is value between $200 and $500, shoplifting is charged as a fourth degree crime, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Shoplifting is elevated to a third degree crime if the value of the goods is between $500 and $75,000. A conviction for third degree shoplifting may result in a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in NJ State Prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Lastly, the most serious charges for shoplifting are second degree, which apply in cases wherein the defendant is accused of stealing items valued at $75,000 or more. If you are found guilty of second degree shoplifting, you face a 5 to 10-year prison term and a fine of up to $150,000.

A shoplifting conviction in New Jersey also entails mandatory community service, the period of which increases and the number of previous offenses increases. In other words, for a first shoplifting offense, you must perform a minimum of 10 days of community service. For a second offense, community service for at least 15 days is required. For a third or subsequent offense, the maximum period of community service is 25 days but you are also subject to a minimum term of imprisonment of 90 days. Shoplifting is also a crime of moral turpitude under New Jersey law, which means that a conviction can spell collateral consequences for your immigration status if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Contact a Moorestown NJ Shoplifting Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting at Moorestown Mall or elsewhere in Moorestown or Burlington County, New Jersey, criminal defense lawyer Leonard Biddison can help. To discuss your specific case and the ways that you may be able to have your shoplifting charges downgraded, dismissed, or otherwise resolved, contact his offices today at 856.427.6888. Mr. Biddison will be happy to answer your questions and consultations are always provided free of charge.

Willingboro Traffic Stop Leads to Marijuana, Gun, Prescription Drug Charges

Willingboro NJ Criminal Defense LawyersAfter a motor vehicle stop in Willingboro recently, police discovered marijuana, prescription drugs, drug paraphernalia, and a handgun, which led to criminal charges against both of the vehicle’s occupants.

According to officials from the Willingboro Township Police Department, officers stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Route 130 and Charleston Road on Friday, July 28th. They allegedly detected the odor of marijuana coming from the car, which prompted a search of the vehicle. During the search, police reportedly confiscated over 50 grams of marijuana, prescription pills, drug paraphernalia, and a semi-automatic handgun.

The vehicle’s occupants, 26-year-old Taquorie Genwright and 26-year-old Sharif Brooks, both of whom are Willingboro residents, were subsequently arrested and charged with a variety of drug and weapons offenses. Specifically, both defendants have been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of prescription drugs, drug paraphernalia possession, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon while committing a drug offense. The penalties associated with each of these crimes are serious and diverse.

First, let’s take a look at the drug charges. Possession of marijuana over 50 grams is a fourth degree crime in violation of section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(3) of the New Jersey Criminal Code, and may result in any of the following penalties: up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison, a 6-month driver’s license suspension, and a fine of up to $25,000. On the other hand, possession of prescription drugs in New Jersey, whether it involves Xanax, Percocet, Adderall, Oxycontin, or another prescription medication, can range be a disorderly persons offense or a fourth degree crime, depending on the number of units or pills involved in the specific offense. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5, possession of 4 or fewer pills is a disorderly persons offense, while 5 or more pills is increased to a fourth degree crime.

Then, there is the unlawful possession of a weapon charge, which in this case, arose from the handgun found in the vehicle. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, unlawful possession of a handgun is a second degree crime in New Jersey, which is punishable by between 5 and 10 years in prison. In addition, illegal gun possession is a Graves Act offense, which means the person convicted must serve 1/3 to 1/2 of the total sentence, or 3 years, whichever is greater, before becomining eligible for parole.

Lastly, when drug crimes and weapons offenses intersect in New Jersey, this may give rise to an additional charge, often referred to simply as a “Drugs and Guns” violation. New Jersey law addresses Weapons and Controlled Dangerous Substances in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1, which states, “Any person who has in his possession any firearm while in the course of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit a [drug offense] is guilty of a crime of the second degree.” This is a separate second degree crime with a separate 5 to 10-year term of imprisonment, which must be imposed in addition to the sentences associated with any other convictions for drug or weapons crimes.

Willingboro NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Obviously, with the extent of the charges in this case, the defendants may be subject to severe consequences if they are ultimately found guilty. In fact, even a conviction for a single charge, such as unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of marijuana, or prescription drug possession, can result in life-altering repercussions. When you are facing drug or weapons charges in Burlington County, it is extremely important to build the best possible defense strategy. Leonard Biddison is a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer has been successfully defending clients against criminal charges in Willingboro, Burlington County, and throughout South Jersey for over 2 decades. To discuss your specific charges and find out how he can help you, contact The Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison today at 856-427-6888 for a free consultation.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Cops find pistol, pot, pills during roadside arrest

Burlington County Man Stabbed by Girlfriend

Burlington County NJ Domestic Abuse LawyersIn a recent incident of domestic violence, a Burlington County man was stabbed by his girlfriend just prior to ending their relationship.

According to officials from the Jersey City Police Department, the victim in this case is a 52-year-old man from Burlington County. He was allegedly stabbed twice, once in the right arm and once in the right leg, by his girlfriend. The incident occurred on Fremont Street at approximately 4:30 in the morning, after which the woman reportedly fled the scene.

After investigating the incident and speaking with the alleged victim, police say he declined to press charges. In domestic abuse cases such as these, the alleged victim has multiple options: he or she can choose to press criminal charges and/or to file a restraining order against the alleged abuser. Under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17), which was passed in 1991, there are a variety of individuals who may qualify for a restraining order if they experience some form of abuse from a current or former partner. Specifically, the NJ Prevention of DV Act protects current and former spouses, current and former dating partners, current and former members of the same household, and parents who share or are expecting a child together.

The second requirement for a restraining order to be issued is a predicate act of domestic violence. Essentially, this means that the accused must have committed one of the following acts against the alleged victim: Homicide, Terroristic Threats, Simple AssaultAggravated Assault, Criminal Coercion, Criminal Mischief, Criminal Restraint, Criminal Trespass, False Imprisonment, Criminal Sexual Contact, Sexual Assault, Harassment, Kidnapping, Lewdness, Stalking, or Burglary.

In this case, the predicate act that would likely apply is aggravated assault, for which the woman could also face criminal charges. Under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), aggravated assault can be graded as a fourth degree, third degree, or second degree crime, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. A person can be charged with second degree aggravated assault if they attempt to cause, or do in fact cause, serious bodily injury. Attacking someone with a deadly weapon is an example of such conduct that may give rise to these charges. If you or convicted of second degree aggravated assault, you may face a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years. If a weapon is involved in the offense, you may face additional charges for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Leonard Biddison is a criminal defense attorney with over 20 years of experience representing clients involved in criminal and domestic violence cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He handles all aspects of domestic abuse cases, including criminal charges and restraining order hearings, and is ardently dedicated to protecting his clients’ interests. If you are dealing with criminal charges and/or a restraining order in Burlington County or surrounding communities in South Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison today at 856-427-6888 for a cost-free consultation about your case.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Woman stabs boyfriend who was going to end relationship: police

Man Facing Drug Distribution Charges in Burlington County after Buyer’s Fatal Overdose

Mount Holly NJ Distribution of CDS LawyerA jury in Burlington County recently indicted a Camden man on a number of serious drug charges, including distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and strict liability for drug-induced death, after one of his alleged customers suffered a fatal overdose.

The defendant in this case, 24-year-old Camden resident Jose LaPorte, was indicted by a grand jury in Burlington County Superior Court in Mount Holly on Tuesday, July 11th. According to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s office, the death of 35-year-old Delran resident Sung Han sparked an investigation that led back to LaPorte.

LaPorte allegedly sold heroin to Sung Han, who died on April 12th of a fatal overdose. Following the investigation, officials from the Burlington Township Police Department arrested LaPorte, at which time they reportedly discovered heroin in his possession.

Now, LaPorte is facing charges for possession of CDS, two counts of possession of CDS with intent to distribute and distribution of CDS, as well as strict liability for drug-induced death. These crimes are considered extremely egregious in New Jersey, particularly those for strict liability for drug-induced death. Under New Jersey law, this is classified as a first degree crime (the most serious under the New Jersey Criminal Code), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9, which states the following:

Any person who manufactures, distributes or dispenses methamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine or any other controlled dangerous substance classified in Schedules I or II, or any controlled substance analog thereof, in violation of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-5, is strictly liable for a death which results from the injection, inhalation or ingestion of that substance, and is guilty of a crime of the first degree.

This means that if you are found guilty of strict liability for drug-induced death, you may be sentenced to serve between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. Notably, a conviction under New Jersey’s strict liability drug statute will not merge with a conviction for another offense such as drug distribution or possession of CDS with intent to distribute. In this case, with the substance in question being heroin, the degree of the charges for distribution of CDS and possession of drugs with intent to distribute will be determined by the amount of heroin associated with each count of the indictment.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Drug dealer indicted on charges in customer’s overdose death

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