The penalties for serious crimes in New Jersey can be quite severe, but when authorities view these in light of other types of charges, the results can be extremely destabilizing for the defendant. One New Jersey teenager is now learning that lesson the hard way, as he faces an onslaught of legal repercussions for various allegations.
Just 19 years old, the Jersey City teen may face up to 20 years behind bars for his alleged choices. In addition to drug offenses as a juvenile, the man has also been on the receiving end of warrants for aggravated assault and first-degree armed robbery.
In addition, he has allegedly held a man at gunpoint and resisted arrest. Authorities say he has also committed a weapons offense. The man has yet to present his side of the story and the police are known to make mistakes.
Police issued his most recent arrest warrant in mid-May, for the robbery incident that occurred late last year. When law enforcement took him into custody, he was already out on a $100,000 bail and a $75,000 bail.
The Jersey City teen was also still on probation for the previous drug charges he incurred at an even younger age. In 2009, he was convicted of drug possession with intent to distribute near a school. Slightly less than one year later, a judge sentenced him to probation for those drug charges.
In New Jersey, possessing even a relatively small amount of certain drugs can lead police to believe you had the intent to sell those drugs, or distribute. Within a certain distance of a school or even a school bus, those possessing drugs can face even more damaging consequences.
One Hudson County prosecutor told the local press that the number of charges facing the Jersey City teen is disturbing. A superior court judge for Hudson County set a cash bail of $50,000 for the young man's most recent brush with the law; that bail has kept him behind bars since his arrest.
Source: The Jersey Journal, "New charge carries possible 20-year prison term for New Jersey teen arrested four times in less than one year," Michaelangelo Conte, May 17, 2012