Q: My daughter was detained at the Newark Airport for unknowingly violating N.J.S. 2c:39-3e. She has no criminal record.
She was not aware that the weapon, a collapsible baton, was in her carry-on luggage. She was in the process of catching a business flight to Cincinnati, Ohio on behalf of her flight school. She is 22 years old, a certified commercial pilot, and working to get her degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Does her case have a good chance of being dismissed?
A: While her lack of record makes her eligible to apply for the Pre-Trial Intervention program, if accepted that potential dismissal will take a minimum of 12 and maximum of 36 months and require at least some effort from her. Just having a pending charge in the event of a background check may be problematic for her licensure. The case could potentially be downgraded to municipal court as well, but again, there could be ramifications for even a non-felony resolution. Criminal cases are always dependent on a number of variables including the prosecutor, (who has discretion in terms of PTI acceptance among other things) and the actual facts in evidence. The best thing she can do is to get an attorney involved to try to resolve the matter in the most beneficial way possible—it’s very unlikely that the matter gets dismissed outright without at least some discovery being reviewed and picked apart by counsel, and getting a seasoned lawyer involved sooner than later is a smart step in that direction.
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