I previously wrote that several months ago I was retained by a defendant
who had several extremely serious charges in Essex County. My client was
charged with First Degree Robbery, Second Degree
Aggravated Assault, Third Degree
Terroristic Threats, Third Degree
Criminal Restraint, Third Degree
Burglary, Third Degree
Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Fourth Degree
Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.
It should be pointed out that while these incident occurred, my client
was under the influence of alcohol. He was wasted, to be frank. As is
so often the case with my clients, many of them have substance abuse problems.
Most of their crimes are committed while under the influence of something,
while trying to obtain items that can be sold for money for the purchase
of illegal substances, etc.
The "good news" is that if the above is true, the courts are
MUCH more likely to work with a defendant in terms of keeping them out of jail.
In this case, the State's origina plea was 7 years in prison, subject
to the No Early Release Act. However, because he was inebrieted at the
time these crimes were allegedly committed, the State became more interested
in seeing to it that my client received help instead of prison time. This,
coupled with the fact that he had almost no prior criminal record resulted
in plea offer consisting of straight probation, subject to his following
the mandates of his rehab program.