Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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New Jersey state police arrest 4 men in drug deal

New Jersey state police recently arrested 4 men after observing an alleged drug crime in Newark. The men arrived to the site of the alleged transaction in separate cars, near Second and Gould Streets in Newark. Police seized an illegal handgun, a stolen car and 20 grams of marijuana.

In New Jersey, police tactics for targeting suspected drug offenders include undercover investigations and search warrants. Yet American citizens have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. For that reason, a police officer's affidavit in support of a search warrant typically must be supported by probable cause.

If you are facing drug charges, an attorney can review your arrest report to determine whether a challenge may be available regarding the officer's affidavit in support of the search warrant, to the extent one was used. The probable cause standard usually requires the affidavit to set forth sufficient details to demonstrate the reliability of the information, including identifying objectively suspicious activities that provide a basis for the requested search.

A search warrant may not have been involved in today's story, as police were reported to have simply observed the drug deal in process. Yet even in that event, an attorney can review the facts of your case to determine whether the initial contact with the police was lawful. Additional defense strategies might inquire into the actual purpose of any drugs or cash seized.

Don't delay in requesting your right to have an attorney present for any questioning involving drug crimes. Even if you are contacted only as a potential suspect, an attorney can ensure that you don't volunteer any incriminating statements that may later be used as evidence against you. The consequences of a drug conviction can be severe, including high mandatory minimum sentences and potential repercussions to your future employment. An attorney can help you mount a successful defense.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "State Police stop alleged drug deal in Newark, arrest 4 men," David Giambusso, July 7, 2012

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