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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    2

    Default How to Request Postponement of a Criminal Prosecution

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: New Jersey

    I was in an Atlantic City casino and accidentally left my bag somewhere. Security took it and searched through it and found about 1 gram of marijuana and the bowl I used which counts as paraphernalia. Unfortunately the charges don't appear to differentiate between 1 gram and 40. When I went to claim my bag I was arrested and banned from the property for life. My main priority is to be allowed back into the casino (I'm a poker pro and it was a good portion of my income) and I was told by the head of security that if I can get the charges dropped or reduced to something non drug related they will let me back in.

    My arresting officer told me that the DA isn't prosecuting minor marijuana possession charges right now since New Jersey is in the process of legalizing it, and that I should keep asking for postponements until the bill is passed, after which the charges would likely be dropped. My hearing is next week and apparently the procedure is that I speak to the prosecutor about what I want to do first and I'm supposed to ask them directly for the postponement. I just wanted a little clarification about what I should say to them exactly so I don't somehow screw it up.

    Should I tell them the same story I've just told you and say that I want to postpone it until the legalization vote takes place as the officer suggested? Or would I be better off saying something like I'm talking to a few different attorneys and haven't been able to decide yet and need more time?

    If the latter, what do I do the second time I have to ask for a postponement? Surely they don't allow you to take forever to find a lawyer and would tell me I have to settle it at some point, right?

    If it does have to go to trial do you think I would be ok with a public defender? I was hoping not to have to pay a lawyer for such a minor charge, but at the same time it's very important to me to get this dropped or reduced so I can get back to work. I am a first time offender by the way.

    Thank you so much for any advice you can offer on my situation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: How to Request Postponement of a Criminal Prosecution

    Quote Quoting robbybob
    View Post
    My main priority is to be allowed back into the casino (I'm a poker pro and it was a good portion of my income) and I was told by the head of security that if I can get the charges dropped or reduced to something non drug related they will let me back in.
    Then it makes sense for you to work with a lawyer.
    Quote Quoting robbybob
    My arresting officer told me that the DA isn't prosecuting minor marijuana possession charges right now since New Jersey is in the process of legalizing it, and that I should keep asking for postponements until the bill is passed, after which the charges would likely be dropped. My hearing is next week and apparently the procedure is that I speak to the prosecutor about what I want to do first and I'm supposed to ask them directly for the postponement. I just wanted a little clarification about what I should say to them exactly so I don't somehow screw it up.
    With a week to go? Lawyer up. You don't have time to mess around or to try to learn the system.

    You can try contacting the prosecutor's office and seeing if they will stipulate to an adjournment, but the issue still has to get in front of the court and be decided before your appearance date.
    Quote Quoting robbybob
    Should I tell them the same story I've just told you and say that I want to postpone it until the legalization vote takes place as the officer suggested?
    You mean, should you tell the court that you want an adjournment because you believe that with enough adjournments the prosecutor will dismiss? No, because that's not a valid basis to obtain an adjournment.
    Quote Quoting robbybob
    Or would I be better off saying something like I'm talking to a few different attorneys and haven't been able to decide yet and need more time?
    If that's true, and you're the gambler that you say that you are, roll the dice -- pick a lawyer.
    Quote Quoting robbybob
    If the latter, what do I do the second time I have to ask for a postponement?
    You should expect that the court won't be sympathetic to anything you claim if you have not by then retained a lawyer as previously represented.
    Quote Quoting robbybob
    If it does have to go to trial do you think I would be ok with a public defender?
    If you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer, file a petition with the court for a court-appointed lawyer. If you do not qualify, you will have to retain a lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,997

    Default Re: How to Request Postponement of a Criminal Prosecution

    As he was told (and he got rudely testy over) on the other forum, PD's are not some default for people who don't want to pay for regular counsel. First, you have to be indigent to qualify. Second, even if you qualify for a PD, it's not free in New Jersey. When you are convicted you'll owe the legal fees back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How to Request Postponement of a Criminal Prosecution

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    As he was told (and he got rudely testy over) on the other forum, PD's are not some default for people who don't want to pay for regular counsel. First, you have to be indigent to qualify. Second, even if you qualify for a PD, it's not free in New Jersey. When you are convicted you'll owe the legal fees back.
    How did I get rudely testy over it? I did make an insensitive comment about PDs and apologized best I could for it. It wasn't meant as an attack I am just ignorant and made a thoughtless statement.

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