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- Gabriel V.

Ocean Township

Welcome to Asbury Park Ocean Township Criminal Defense Attorney

Ocean Township is a Monmouth County municipality with a population of over 27,000 and includes Oakhurst, Wanamassa, West Deal (home of Ashley Tisdale) and, perhaps most famously, Asbury Park, home to Bruce Springsteen and TV host Wendy Williams.

West Long Branch is also a community in Monmouth County that is home to Monmouth College and NFL linebacker Phil Villapiano.

According to statistics, Ocean Township is a safe place to live, work and go to school. Ocean Township gets A+ grades for Violent Crime, Property Crimes and overall. There are instances of violent crime, drug crimes, aggravated assault, property crime, sex crimes, burglary, larceny theft and vehicle theft - but these statistics are much lower than the New Jersey and national average.

Monmouth College is located within Ocean Township, and while the campus is peaceable for the most part, the college has had trouble with alcohol, drug and assault offenses.

Ocean Township is a peace and quiet place, but trouble does happen. If you are a resident or student being investigated or have been arrested for any crime from assault to weapons violations, the first person you should talk to is Ocean Township and Monmouth College criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa.

Born, raised and educated (JD Rutgers) in New Jersey, Ms. Breslow-Testa is a dedicated defender with experience on both sides of the judicial bench, and both sides of the aisle: Clerking for the Honorable Donald J. Volkert, Jr., serving as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender in Union County and then trial court in Monmouth County.

Now in private practice, Tara Breslow-Testa has tried hundreds of cases and understands the philosophy of the New Jersey Courts: forgive and rehabilitate where possible, punish where necessary. Tara Breslow-Testa is ready to stand up to aggressive prosecutors, and knows how to negotiate with judges who have heard it all.

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

Medical Marijuana is Legal, Recreational is not

In New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances are categorized into Schedules I - V, judged by their potential for damage and abuse. Medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since 2010, but it is still a Schedule I drug - the most serious.

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act permits citizens with medical marijuana cards to purchase cannabis products from “alternate treatment centers” in Montclair (2012), and Cranbury, Bellmawr, Egg Harbor Township and Woodbridge - with a sixth dispensary still waiting for approval as of March 2017.

The medical marijuana laws in New Jersey are strict, but the recreational marijuana laws are even more strict, as detailed by New Jersey statutes N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 which detail parameters and punishments for the possession of marijuana for personal use, but also manufacturing and distribution. Marijuana offenses are regarded from first to fourth degree, taking into account measured weight and/or the number of marijuana plants.

First Degree crime: 25 pounds of marijuana or more; 50 or more marijuana plants, 5 pounds or more of hashish. Sentence to serve between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a maximum fine of $300,000.

Fourth Degree Crime: Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. A maximum of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Possession With Intent to Distribute

Distribution of marijuana is dealt with harshly by the New Jersey courts. Tara Breslow-Testa is a criminal defense attorney in Ocean Township who has defended dozens of drug crimes cases over the years. Talk to Tara first.

Fourth degree crime: Sale or distribution of less than one ounce of Marijuana. Eighteen month maximum sentence and maximum $25,000 fine.

First degree crime: Sale or distribution of 25 pounds or more of marijuana. Prison sentence of 10 to 20 years and a maximum fine of $300,000. This is a mandatory minimum sentence, requiring jail time.

Alcohol-Related Driving Offenses

A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.10% or greater will result in a prison term of up to 30 days, a license loss of seven months to one year, and a variety of fines, fees and surcharges including a $300 to $500 fine, a $230 Intoxicated Driver Resource Center fee, $100 to the drunk driving fund, $100 to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund, a $1,000 a year surcharge (for three years) and $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund.

If your BAC is 0.15% or greater an ignition interlock device will be placed on your car during license suspension and for six months to a year after restoration of driving privileges.

Penalties for Drunk Driving With Bac of 0.08% to 0.10%

If convicted of DUI with a BAC of between 0.08% and 0.10%, the fines and terms are a prison term of up to 30 days, loss of licence for three months, a fine of $250 - $400, a $230 Intoxicated Driver Resource Center fee, $100 to the drunk driving fund, $100 to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund, a $1,000 a year surcharge (for three years) and $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund.

If you have been arrested for an alcohol-related driving charge, Tara Breslow-Testa is the first person you should talk to.

Campus Crime at Monmouth College

On October 1 of every year, all New Jersey colleges are required to submit statistics on college campus crime - following the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act aka the Clery Act.

Looking at statistics for Monmouth College for 2013 -2015, the most common crimes had to do with Forcible Sex Offenses - Rape and Forcible Sex Offenses - Fondling. There were hundreds of referrals for liquor law and drug law violations, but only a few arrests for substance crimes.

Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault

Of all the crimes that happen on college campuses, sexual assault gets the most attention locally and nationally (See: Brock Turner at Stanford).

According to New Jersey statutes, sexual assault is also known as “rape” and involves, “the penetration, no matter how slight, in which physical force or coercion is used or in which the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated.”

There is sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, and both crimes are punished harshly in New Jersey, with sentences of 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.

Under New Jersey statutes 2C: 14-2, sexual assault relating to college campuses involves sexual penetration using physical force not resulting in injury of the victim.

Aggravated sexual assault relating to college campuses can involve the act committed during the commission of another crime (assault, murder, robbery, kidnapping, etc.), or using a weapon or the threat of a weapon, acting with the assistance of someone else, victim is handicapped or otherwise incapacitated.

The punishment for sexual assault depends on the age of the victim, the criminal record of the accused and other factors. The sentence of sexual assault is no more than 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, while the sentence of aggravated sexual assault is double that, or 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.

Better Call Tara

Whether you are a citizen of Monmouth County or a student, if you are being investigated for a crime or have been arrested, Tara Breslow-Testa is a criminal defense attorney serving Ocean Township and Monmouth College who you want by your side.

Tara Breslow-Testa is a skilled defender and negotiator who can save you thousands of dollars, years in prison and erase a permanent stain on your record.

Depending on the crime you are accused of, your criminal record and other factors, Tara Breslow-Testa knows how to divert your case to Pre Trial Intervention, Drug Court or other available diversions allowed by the New Jersey courts.

Or Tara Breslow-Testa can argue that charges be dropped completely because of Probable Cause, Illegal Search and Seizure or other legal technicalities.

Police and courts make mistakes, the system is complex, but Ocean Township and Monmouth College criminal defense lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa has the skills to navigate you through it to safety.

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