I am just curious. To me it doesn't at all seem fair your outcome can be extremely different if in one county in NJ vs. another. I was charged three different times with Possession of Heroin in violation of 2C: 35-10A(1). The first two occurrences happened in Camden county. I never even went to the CJP hearing(s) and was notified within about 2-3 weeks after originally being arrested that in both of the two different instances, it was being remanded back to the municipal court as 2C: 35-10C. From there I easily able to negotiate with the municipal prosecutor for a proper disposition, once with a reputable attorney, once pro se.
The third and last time I was charged with 2C: 35-10A(1) was in Gloucester county. There was totally different, they indicted immediately me for the felony 3rd degree and I had to go to a superior court judge multiple times. Ultimately the persistence of the PD and my determination got me what they said was a "rare" post indictment downgrade to 2C: 33-2(b)(1), but this was never wrecking and no walk in the park to get. Is this common that some counties treat this type of charge much differently than another would?
Any downgrade is a gift. Some courts give that gift more than others. Places that have to deal with murder and gun crimes spend more time on that and less time on drugs, in my experience. If you want to use drugs with less consequence, move to Camden or Newark. That will give you a better chance of getting away with a violation of the law in the areas you seem to prefer. But with three prior arrests, don't count on a good deal anywhere from here on. What you state is true of many things - there are courts which will not dismiss a DWI even with next to no evidence, and places that hold the police to a high standard of proof. Courts are as different as the people who run them, and the people who live in the towns.
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Each county is different. first of all the more sheets you get the tougher they get everywhere. But Camden, Essex even Union and Middlesex have many more cases then Gloucester. So they see many more situations and sift through more. You need to have more weight for them to care. In the smaller number case counties that is not so. In addition there are counties that are just tougher. Somerset comes to mind.
Most if counties believe the third time you commit the same crime your out and won't downgrade at all even in Camden County. However, ultimately if the county just has too many cases for the week and yours is a smaller one you can still get a downgrade. Many factors apply but Camden and Essex counties are known to be easier than most if not all others.
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Every county has its own prosecutor. That's 21 different prosecutors. That's 21 different policy makers. As long as the prosecutor stays within the law, each county may have procedures and policies different from the others.
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