An Ocean County man was recently arrested after police searched a home in Bay Way and reportedly seized 92 folds of heroin. According to the Asbury Park Press, police were investigating a number of residential burglaries that took place in Lacey Township this past summer. The news article does not indicate that investigators anticipated finding any drugs at the residence.
However, the 26-year-old suspect was charged with possession of heroin. He was also charged with theft, even though police did not recover any of the jewelry that was reportedly stolen. Investigators claim the $27,000 of stolen property was pawned or sold.
To convict a person of theft, prosecutors have to establish an evidentiary link between the accused and the stolen property. In some cases, it may be possible to effectively defend against a theft charge by showing that no such evidentiary link can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The same type of defense may apply to charges of drug possession.
When police conduct a search of a residence, they are required to follow proper procedure and not violate the rights of any suspects in the home. An effective criminal defense will scrutinize the circumstances of the search to determine whether or not authorities violated the defendant's rights in any way.
A conviction for theft, burglary or a drug crime can have lifelong consequences for the defendant. Aside from jail time, penalties can include heavy fines and a permanent criminal record that could affect future job prospects. To achieve the best possible outcome in an already difficult situation, accused individuals should be aware of the available defense strategies.
Source: Asbury Park Press, "Anthony Sestito of Lacey charged after police find heroin at home," Stephanie Loder, Dec. 13, 2013