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“Thanks Tara for always believing in me and making me feel like I was your only client. You made the impossible possible. Forever grateful.”

- Gabriel V.

Manalapan NJ

Criminal Defense Attorney for Manalapan Township

Manalapan Township is a mostly peaceful and quiet township of just over 40,000 people in western Monmouth County. Manalapan was rated the #32 safest city in New Jersey, with a refreshingly low crime rate. People move to Manalapan for the peace and quiet and security, knowing that if they want to kick up and/or cool their heels, the Jersey Shore is 15 miles to the east and New York City is 45 miles to the northeast.

Eat, drink and be merry: Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was born in Manalapan in 1981, and it’s also the hometown of Michael DeVito, the three-time winner of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. Along with other notables.

Manalapan is a refreshingly peaceful and quiet suburban New Jersey community, but there is always the possibility for trouble. If you are being investigated for a crime or have been arrested, the first person you should talk to is Manalapan criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa. Born, bred and educated (Rutgers) in New Jersey, Ms. Breslow-Testa has experience on both sides of the bench and is experienced in criminal defense from shoplifting to DUI to cocaine trafficking.

Ms. Breslow-Testa loves the law and the sting of battle in court. She is a stalwart defender when facing off against aggressive prosecutors and no-nonsense judges. She can save you years and thousands of dollars by diverting your case to Drug Court, or Pre Trial Intervention or to have charges dismissed or dropped due to technicalities.

For a free consultation, call Tara Breslow-Testa at (732) 784-2880

Million Dollar a Month Drug Ring and Murder for Hire

In 2008, Federal agents from the DEA worked with local authorities to arrest a ring of drug traffickers who brought in 1000 kilos of cocaine a month on passenger jets, and were laundering as much as $1 million a month.

Like a combination of Good Fellas, Scarface and Traffic, the seven men and women were working out of a lavish mansion hiding in plain sight in the peace and quiet of a Manalapan suburban street, to operate a drug ring with international connections.

In August of 2010, Superior Court Judge Anthony Mellaci Jr. sentenced Vicente Esteves (37) to pay a $1.5 million fine and 25 years in New Jersey State Prison - with 12.5 years mandatory before he would be eligible for parole.

Although Chantal Esteves admitted to some complicity in the case, she was diverted to Pre Trial Intervention, and serious charges were dropped, and expunged from her record.

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Drug rings are out of the ordinary for Manalapan, however. The crime statistics for 2016 in Manalapan show:

  • Violent crime per 1,000 residents: 0.4
  • Robbery per 1,000 residents: 0.2
  • Property crime per 1,000 residents: 5.9
  • Burglary per 1,000 residents: 1.3

If you are arrested in Manalapan Township, it will most likely be for something relatively benign, like possession of marijuana or perhaps a heated scuffle while discussing sports or maybe your party is a little too loud.

Sifting through police records for Manalapan, some of the typical crimes that occur in and around the Township include passing counterfeit $100 bills, home theft, terroristic threatening, disorderly conduct and harassment, credit card fraud, aggravated assault and possession of marijuana. Tara Breslow-Testa is a criminal defense attorney serving Manalapan Township with experience in all of these high crimes and misdemeanors.

Crimes and Penalties

Using those examples from one week of modern crime in Manalapan, these are the possible charges the convicted would face:

  1. Using or manufacturing counterfeit money is a Federal offense, punishable by a fine of $15,000 (or more) and up to 15 years in prison.
  2. If the employees of the moving company stole $400 worth of goods from the house they were supposed to be moving, that would be a crime of theft in the fourth degree - between $200 and $500 - which could lead to a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  3. The penalties for third degree terroristic threats vary, although the charge can be moved up to second degree if the threat is made “during a declared period of national, State or county emergency.”
  4. The penalties for disorderly conduct in New Jersey are a jail sentence of up to six months and fine of no more than $1,000.00.
  5. New Jersey’s Credit Card Fraud Act - N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6 - details several different crimes associated with credit cards: Unauthorized signing, falsely making, counterfeiting, or modifying a credit card, Selling or buying a credit card from someone other than the issuer, Receiving a lost, mislaid, or mistakenly delivered credit card.
    The most common offense is taking a credit card without the cardholder’s consent.
    These are fourth degree crimes under New Jersey state law, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  6. Aggravated assault in New Jersey can range from second to fourth degree, and the punishments are:
    • Fourth Degree Crime: A maximum of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
    • Third Degree Crime: 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison and a maximum $15,000 fine.
    • Second Degree Crime: 5-10 Years in New Jersey State Prison and a maximum $150,000 fine.
  7. The penalties for marijuana possession are based on the weight of the marijuana in possession.
    • Possessing 25 pounds or more of marijuana is a first degree crime punishable ; by 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $300,000. First degree crimes come with an “expectation of incarceration” which means a conviction leads to mandatory prison time.
    • Possessing less than one ounce of marijuana is a fourth degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Fourth degree crimes come with an “expectation of non-incarceration” which means a case can be diverted to Drug Court or Pre Trial Intervention.
Pre-Trial Intervention

Chantal Esteves was knowingly involved in a multi-million-dollar drug trafficking ring that could have lead to her being sentenced to life in prison and paying millions in fines. But instead she was diverted to pre-trial intervention and served no jail time.

Pre trial intervention is a kind of criminal “prehab” which realizes citizens might have extenuating circumstances for committing a crime, and allows their cases to be diverted to a strictly-monitored program designed to prevent them from committing crimes in the future.

Pre trial intervention is closely monitored, and upon successful completion, the crimes are expunged from a person’s record. Even a crime as serious as running a multi-million-dollar cocaine ring.

Tara Breslow-Testa is a criminal defense attorney serving Manalapan Township who understands the history and logic of Pre Trial Intervention, and will fight to have your case diverted there - if you are eligible - and possibly save you a great deal of time, money and stress.

Drug Court

Established in 1996 in Camden and Essex Superior Courts - and since extended to all of New Jersey - the mission of New Jersey’s Drug Court is to head off the abuse of drugs and alcohol and ease the related criminal activity that goes with drug abuse. Drug Courts operate within the Superior Court structure and utilize a specialized team of treatment professionals, court staff, probation officers, attorneys and substance abuse evaluators for cases that are nonviolent.

The goal of Drug Court is to keep abusers out of jail and off drugs, and it is possible that Monmouth County drug offense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa can work with Superior Court to have a case deflected into Drug Court - and turn possible jail time and fines into strict supervision.

Better Call Tara

Whether your are arrested for disorderly persons violation, or for being the leader of a drug trafficking network, the dedicated legal eagle you want by your side is. Manalapan criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa. She understands the calculus of New Jersey courts - when they hope to be lenient, and when they have to be strict. Ms. Breslow-Testa is adept at steering first time crimes to Drug Court, or Pre-Trial Intervention and wheeling and dealing to have charges reduced, or dropped, or diverted to any of New Jersey’s diversion programs - designed to give citizens a second chance, and unclutter courts.

Tara Breslow-Testa is the attorney you want by your side if life goes wrong in the peace and quiet of Manalapan.

For a free consultation, call Tara Breslow-Testa at (732) 784-2880