Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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New Jersey woman sentenced to 7 years in prison

According to state authorities, a New Jersey woman was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of drug and gun charges. In March, the defendant pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. She later pleaded guilty to possession of a revolver as a convicted felon. She received a seven-year sentence for the drug possession charge and a five-year sentence for the weapons charge. Both sentences will be served concurrently, and she will be eligible for parole once she has served five years in prison.

In January 2013, a search warrant was executed by the Atlantic City Violent Crime Task Force at the defendant's residence. The defendant and her husband were both charged after the search and seizure operation. The defendant's husband was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty.

It is not uncommon for defendants to plead guilty as part of a pre-arranged plea deal. Prosecutors and judges often prefer to resolve cases with plea bargains because they are cost-effective and help to speed up the judicial process. Defendants may also benefit from a plea bargain, particularly if there are concerns about solid evidence that may result in a conviction.

A criminal defense attorney may review the evidence, charges and the defendant's account of events to determine whether a plea bargain is the best strategy. Additionally, if police failed to execute a search warrant properly or violated the rights of a defendant, the case may be dismissed or dropped. An attorney may understand search and seizure law and may recognize rights violations.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Woman Sentenced on Drug, Weapons Charges", May 26, 2014

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