Evesham Police Arrest Philadelphia Man for Heroin Possession

Heroin Possession Defense Lawyer in Evesham NJWith a rise in heroin related deaths around the nation, including New Jersey, possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia used with heroin, like hypodermic needles, is treated very seriously and offenders face significant penalties if convicted of these crimes in New Jersey. In Burlington County, NJ, heroin charges are issued on a regular basis to individuals accused of heroin possession and intent to distribute heroin.

If you have been arrested for heroin possession in the Burlington, NJ area, contact experienced New Jersey Drug Defense Attorney Leonard D. Biddison at (856) 427-6888 to discuss defending against these serious drug charges.

One example of an incident which led to multiple criminal charges occurred In Evesham Township, New Jersey recently. A Philadelphia man was arrested and charged with possession of burglary tools, as well as possession of drugs (CDS), and drug paraphernalia. Police responded to a report of the man allegedly wandering around the parking lot of Whole Foods and when they stopped him, they found pry bars, screwdrivers, a hammer, heroin, marijuana and hypodermic needles.

Under New Jersey law, possession of any amount of heroin is a third degree indictable offense, which carries potential imprisonment of 3 to 5 years, fines of up to $35,000, license suspension for 2 to 6 years, and community service. If you are found guilty of possession of heroin on school or park grounds, you may face a minimum of 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of $150,000.

If the police have probable cause to believe that you were distributing the drugs rather than simply possessing them for personal use, you may face second or first degree charges. Intent to distribute can be proven by the submission of evidence of a large volume of drugs or possession of materials used to package and measure drugs.

Whereas materials used to measure and package drugs may be evidence of intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia—tools used to consume the drugs—usually indicates personal drug use (though it does not necessarily point to a lack of intent to distribute the drugs). Under New Jersey law, you can be convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia if you possess drug-related items like hypodermic needles, syringes, bongs, marijuana pipes, rolling papers, and cutting agents, to name a few. It is a disorderly persons offense that can carry a potential prison sentence of up to 6 months, a fine of $1,000, and suspension of your driver’s license for 2 years.

Defending Against Heroin Charges in New Jersey

Depending on the facts of your case, you may have one or more defenses available to you. Typically, in order to find drugs or drug paraphernalia in your possession, the police must conduct a search and seizure. Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you have a right against unreasonable search and seizure in any place where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. In order to search an area where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, the police must have your consent or a warrant issued by a judge, with a few exceptions. If police did not have your consent or a warrant and none of the exceptions to the warrant requirement applied, the evidence that the police have against you may be inadmissible in court, which would make it very difficult, if not impossible, to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

Heroin Lawyers in Evesham, New Jersey

In addition to arguments used to petition for the exclusion of evidence against you, you may have additional defenses available. If you are facing charges of heroin possession or drug paraphernalia in Evesham Township, Moorestown, Mount Holly, Willingboro, Bordentown, or elsewhere in Burlington County, New Jersey, contact experienced drug defense lawyer Leonard D. Biddison today for a free consultation. He will answer all of your questions and discuss ways to fight your heroin charges and potentially have your case dismissed.

New Jersey Law on DWI DUI Checkpoints

DWI Checkpoint Defense Evesham NJ

When you are driving down the road and realize that you are approaching a DWI checkpoint, it is not unusual to feel a bit nervous—even if you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The best way to manage this potential stress is to understand your rights and law enforcement’s obligations before you find yourself at a DWI checkpoint in New Jersey. Below is a thorough explanation of New Jersey law on DWI checkpoints and answers to some of the leading questions about what to do at DUI checkpoints in New Jersey.

If you have been charged with DWI at a sobriety checkpoint in the Burlington County NJ area, call experienced DWI defense lawyer Leonard D. Biddison at (856) 427-6888 for immediate assistance. He has been defending clients against DWI charges in Bordentown, Cinnaminson, Mt Laurel, Mt Holly, Evesham Township, and throughout New Jersey for over 25 years and can help you avoid the serious consequences you face.

Are DWI checkpoints constitutional?

Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you are protected against unreasonable search and seizure. That means that the police cannot conduct a search of an area where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy without your consent or a warrant, with a few exceptions. Due to this protection, the constitutionality of DWI checkpoints has been debated and challenged in courts. However, in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Michigan v. Sitz, the court ruled that DWI checkpoints are in fact constitutional and found that they are only a brief and slight intrusion on motorists.

What procedures must police follow when operating a DWI checkpoint in NJ?

In order to conduct a DWI checkpoint in New Jersey, there are certain rules and procedures the police must follow. First, the police must give advance public notice of a scheduled DWI checkpoint. They must use appropriate signs and lighting to alert drivers to the checkpoint. After using a neutral, mathematical formula to determine which vehicles to stop, the police can only stop drivers for a brief period of time to ask them for basic information, look at their driver’s license, registration, and insurance, and check for signs of impairment.

If I see an NJ DWI checkpoint ahead, do I have to keep driving towards it?

If you see a notice sign for a DWI checkpoint on the road you are driving on in New Jersey, you are not obligated to continue driving towards the checkpoint. As long as you can make a U-turn legally or take a different route without violating traffic laws, you may do so. The police cannot pull you over simply for rerouting your vehicle to avoid a DWI checkpoint. They may only stop you if they suspect you have violated a traffic law or committed some other offense.

Do I have to submit to a breathalyzer test at a New Jersey DUI Checkpoint?

If the police otherwise have probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can request that you submit to a breathalyzer test. In New Jersey, you provide “implied consent” to a breath test by operating a motor vehicle on any roadway. If you refuse a DWI breath test, you will be charged with a DUI Refusal offense and face the same penalties that you would with a typical drunk driving offense. As a general rule of thumb, you should agree to take the Alcotest because this provides an experienced DWI defense lawyer with the opportunity to challenge the breath test results. If you refuse, there is less evidence to use in your DWI defense strategy.

Do I have to let the police search my vehicle at a Sobriety Checkpoint in NJ?

If you are stopped by police at a DWI checkpoint, or at any other time, you are never required to give consent for the police to conduct a search of your vehicle. As stated above, in order to conduct a search of an area where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, the police must either have your consent, a warrant, or an exception to the warrant requirement must apply.

One of those exceptions applicable to a search at a DWI checkpoint is called the “automobile exception” and it applies when the police have probable cause to believe a search of your vehicle would result in evidence of a crime or contraband. They may also search the area of your vehicle that is approximately within your arms’ length, if they are placing you under arrest. Another exception to the warrant requirement for a search is an inventory search of your vehicle, which the police may conduct after you are arrested and your vehicle is impounded.

If no exceptions to the warrant exception apply, the police must obtain your consent to search your vehicle without a warrant. You are not under any legal obligation to give them consent and your refusal to give consent for a search of your vehicle cannot result in criminal charges.

Evesham Township DWI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DWI at a DUI checkpoint, or you believe the police violated your rights in connection to a DWI checkpoint in New Jersey, contact DWI defense attorney Leonard D. Biddison to discuss your case. Call (856) 427-6888 or submit a contact form online and we will get back to you right away.

Violations of PTI and Conditional Discharge in NJ

Burlington NJ PTI Violation LawyersPre-Trial Intervention (PTI) and conditional discharge are two valuable diversionary programs available to certain criminal defendants, usually first-time offenders, in New Jersey. Participation in each program involves personalized requirements and conditions. If you successfully comply with the conditions of PTI or conditional discharge, your charges will be dismissed after a period of probation. If you violate these conditions, you can face serious consequences.

If you have violated the terms of your PTI or conditional discharge or you have been accused of violating the conditions, you may have a number of questions about what happens next. This article explains the process and possible results of Pretrial Intervention and conditional discharge violations in New Jersey. For more information and a free consultation about your specific case, contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison anytime. We can be reached online or by calling (856) 427-6888.

What happens if I violate conditions of PTI or conditional discharge in NJ?

Common conditions for participation in the diversionary programs of PTI and conditional discharge include submitting to drug testing, maintaining employment or enrollment in an educational program, completion of community service, attending required counseling sessions, and paying restitution to victims.

If you violate the terms of PTI, the judge has several options. The court can allow you to continue PTI with the same conditions (this is, of course, the most ideal outcome), order you to go to drug or alcohol treatment, mandate counseling, extend your probation period, or remove you from the program. If you are removed from the program, the original charges against you will be reinstated and you will face them in court.

If a judge determines that you violated the terms of your conditional discharge, they may order you to continue your sentence of conditional discharge, extend the duration of your conditional discharge, modify or expand the conditions on your conditional discharge, or terminate your participation in the program, resulting in the reinstatement of your original charges.

Is there a hearing for a PTI or conditional discharge violation?

Yes. You are entitled to a hearing to defend yourself against allegations that you violated the terms and conditions of PTI or conditional discharge. In assessing whether you violated the conditions of PTI, the court will consider: (1) whether you willfully violated the conditions, (2) whether you are still a suitable candidate for PTI; and (3) whether dismissal from the program or modification is warranted.

PTI Violation Lawyer in Burlington NJ

If you have been accused of violating the terms and conditions required for your participation in PTI or the conditional discharge program, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. You will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations against you and if your defense lawyer can demonstrate that you did not violate the terms and conditions of PTI or conditional discharge, you will be able to stay in the program and avoid the reinstatement of your original charges.

Do not go to a hearing on your alleged violations of PTI or conditional discharge alone. You usually can only participate in a diversionary program like this once. Your hearing is an opportunity to present your best argument and possibly avoid being terminated from the program. Contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm today at (856) 427-6888 to review your case and defend you against these allegations. We defend clients accused of violating PTI and conditional discharge in Mt Laurel, Mt Holly, Cinnaminson, Burlington, Bordentown, Cherry Hill, Camden, and throughout the South Jersey area.

Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement in New Jersey

New Jersey Search Warrant LawyerThe ability of the police to conduct a search of your home, property, or anywhere you have a reasonable expectation of privacy is subject to Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. This right is so important that if the police violate your Fourth Amendment rights when conducting a search, any evidence they find will not be admissible in court. If the evidence is obtained through actions that constitute an unreasonable search and seizure, that evidence will be considered “fruit of the poisonous tree”—which basically means that if the method of obtaining the evidence was tainted, the evidence itself is also tainted and cannot be used against you in court.

There are certain exceptions that apply to the warrant requirement including consent, search incident to lawful arrest, vehicle inventory search, automobile exception, plain view doctrine, hot pursuit, exigent circumstances, and investigatory stops. As a highly experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, Leonard D. Biddison is well-versed in New Jersey law on warrantless searches and exceptions to the warrant requirement. He uses unlawful search as an effective defense when representing clients facing drug possession, gun charges, and many other crimes in New Jersey. For a free consultation about your case, contact our Collingswood office at (856) 427-6888 and keep reading for more information about search warrant exceptions in NJ.

Did you Consent?

The police may conduct a warrantless search of your home, personal property, or anywhere you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, if you give them consent. Sometimes, people do not know they have the right to not give police consent for a search or they feel pressured to do so. That is why it is important to understand your rights ahead of time. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it could be argued that you did not give consent.

Generally speaking, it is usually not in your best interest to consent to a warrantless search. You are under no obligation to give police consent. The requirements to obtain a warrant exist for a reason and if the police cannot establish probable cause for the search, they will not be successful in obtaining a warrant. There is no reason to make the process easier for police by consenting to the search, if they otherwise would not be able to obtain a warrant.

Were you Being Arrested?

If you are placed under arrest, the police have a right to conduct a search of the immediate area around you without a warrant to protect their own safety and ensure against the destruction of evidence. In the same vein, the police may conduct a warrantless search of your vehicle if it is legally impounded. This is common in cases involving motor vehicle stops resulting in drug charges.

Were you Stopped in a Car?

Since a vehicle is highly mobile, another exception to the search warrant requirement is the automobile exception, which allows police to conduct a warrantless search of an automobile if they have probable cause to believe that a search of the vehicle would reveal evidence of a crime or illegal contraband. Remember, officers do need to show probable cause for any evidence obtained during a car search to be allowed in court.

Was the Evidence in Plain View?

In New Jersey, under the plain view doctrine, if the police are located in a place where they are legally entitled to be, they inadvertently view evidence of a crime or illegal contraband, and the criminal nature of the evidence is immediately apparent to them, no search has occurred and the police may seize the evidence. For instance, you may be charged with possession of heroin if there is a baggie of what appears to be heroin on the floor of your vehicle during a traffic stop.

Were You Being Pursued by Police?

If the police are chasing someone who is trying to escape and that person enters their home, a hotel room, or anywhere else the police would otherwise need to obtain a warrant to search, they may nonetheless enter the structure or dwelling under the hot pursuit exception to prevent the individual’s escape and protect public safety.

Was it an Emergency Situation?

Even without a warrant, the police may enter a home or anywhere an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy if the search is reasonably necessary to protect against a threat to the safety of the police or another person, destruction of evidence, or the escape of a suspect.

Was it an Investigatory Stop?

More popularly known as “stop and frisk”, a warrantless investigatory stop is permissible only when the police have reasonable suspicion that an individual has just committed a crime or is about to commit a crime to search for weapons. The police’s suspicion must not only be objective and reasonable, but also articulable. In other words, they need to be able to explain why the investigatory stop was reasonable and necessary. The way you look, are dressed, or other observable qualities related to your physical appearance are NOT a valid reason to search you.

New Jersey Search Warrant Attorney Leonard Biddison is Here for You

If you are facing criminal charges and you feel your rights have been violated, contact experienced criminal defense attorney Leonard D. Biddison immediately. He will explain the search warrant requirements and discuss the evidence in your case. If any evidence was obtained from an illegal search and seizure, he will fight to ensure it cannot be used against you. Call (856) 427-6888 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.

Tabernacle ROTC Leader Charged with Cyber Harassment

A 64-year-old junior ROTC leader at Seneca High School in Tabernacle, New Jersey was recently charged with cyber harassment for sending inappropriate messages to a female student. The JROTC leader, who worked at the school for less than 6 months, is no longer allowed on school property. Charges for cyber harassment are very serious in New Jersey and may lead to severe penalties for those convicted. If you or a loved one has been charged with cyber harassment in Burlington County or elsewhere in New Jersey, here’s what you need to know. You can also contact our law firm anytime at 856-427-6888 for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

What is cyber harassment under New Jersey law?

Since January 2014, cyber harassment has been a separate and distinct crime from harassment under New Jersey law (NJSA 2C:33-4.1). It is usually a fourth degree indictable offense, comparable to a felony in other states, and carries with it the right of the accused to a grand jury indictment and a trial by jury. However, if certain aggravating factors exist, cyber harassment can be charged as a third degree crime.

A person is guilty of third degree cyber harassment if—with the intent to harass—they threaten another person physically or threaten another person’s property through online communicCyber Harassment Charges Burlington NJation, including the use of social media. Cyber harassment also includes trying to cause another person emotional harm by sending them obscene materials online or using the internet or social media to threaten to commit a crime against another person.

Keep in mind that cyber harassment does not only include direct messages to an alleged victim, but it can also take the form of social media posts or comments. Some social media apps, like Snapchat, are known for deleting content within a short time frame, but evidence of cyber harassment—even on these types of apps—can be preserved in many ways.

If an individual commits the actions described above and they are 21 years of age or older and impersonate a minor while committing the cyber harassment, they can be charged with third degree cyber harassment.

What are the penalties for cyber harassment in New Jersey?

Fourth degree cyber harassment is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000. An individual charged with third degree cyber harassment—where certain aggravating factors exist—faces a term of imprisonment of 3 to 5 years and a fine of up to $15,000.

If the individual who committed the acts of cyber harassment is a minor under 16 years of age, then the court may order them to complete a class to reduce their tendency to commit cyber harassment and increase their awareness of the harm caused by cyber harassment.

I was charged with cyber harassment in New Jersey. What should I do?

If you are charged with cyber harassment in New Jersey, you have the right to inform law enforcement that you do not wish to answer their questions without a lawyer present. In order to obtain a conviction for cyber harassment, there are certain elements of the crime that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Any statements that you make to law enforcement could be used by the prosecutor as evidence against you in court. For more information about cyber harassment charges in NJ. Contact the Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison today at 856-427-6888. One of our experienced criminal lawyers will review your case and determine what defenses you may have available to you.

We have several convenient office locations to serve clients in Mount Holly, Bordentown, Cinnaminson, Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden, NJ.


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