Our law firm represents individuals charged with crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. While a criminal offense can happen at any time or any place, we see the following crimes the most during the Spring months in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These crimes are as follows:
- Drunk driving (DUI/DWI)
- Unlawful/illegal possession of a firearm
- Illegal drug and narcotic possession
What you need to know about gun and drug crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Gun and drug crimes are what as known as possessory crimes, meaning that in all situations the Commonwealth (Pennsylvania) or the State (New Jersey) will need to establish either actual or constructive possession of the contraband in question. The most powerful defense tool in these situations is a pre-trial Motion to suppress evidence based on the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 8, of the Pennsylvania Constitution or Article 1, Paragraph 7, of the New Jersey Constitution (illegal search and seizure).
It is very important that your criminal offense attorney assert these pre-trial Motions because they are not asserted at the trial level, they are deemed waived if the matter goes to appeal. This means that if your criminal offense lawyer does not assert your right against illegal search and seizure, you do not have the ability to argue illegal search and seizure on appeal. Motions to suppress focus on reasonable suspicion and or probable cause to stop a vehicle or pedestrian along with reasonable suspicion and or probable cause to search.
Actual vs. Constructive Possession
At the trial level, if the contraband (drug or gun) in question is found on the person (actual possession), there is a high probability that a person will be convicted because the prosecution will be able to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person possessed the items in question. Pre-trial Motions, therefore, are the best argument in these cases of actual possession.
With regards to constructive possession, there is often a stronger trial argument because the defense can argue various circumstances which may have placed the person in the area of immediate control of the items in question. Even in these situations, however, it is important that your criminal defense attorney assert pre-trial Motions in an attempt to exclude the items in questions.
Drunk Driving (DUI/DWI) in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
With regards to drunk driving, this is probably the most common offense during the Spring months as people begin to travel more on the roads and highways in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Pre-trial Motions are also very important in these situations because the prosecution will need to establish probable cause to stop the vehicle and probable cause to arrest based on suspicion of drunk driving.
It is important that your criminal defense lawyer focus on these pre-trial issues in addition to the trial issues of the driver being in actual control of the vehicle at the time of the arrest and also the medical/scientific evidence pertaining to the blood or breathalyzer test. Your criminal defense lawyer should also take time to analyze the field sobriety test, which includes the walk and turn test, the one leg stand test and the HGN test. If you have more questions regarding any of these offenses including with possession with the intent to distribute drugs or narcotics, please contact our law firm.
Our criminal defense law firm wishes you a healthy and safe Spring Season. If you have more questions about this topic please contact our law firm!
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in PA & NJ
Please click here to contact our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers. We offer free case reviews and serve the following areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Atlantic City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Chester, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Media, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pottstown, Salem, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Providence, Vineland & Woodbury areas.