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State v. J.N.






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State v. J.N.

Tom Richard Case Results: State v. J.N.

Charges: 5 Counts of Class A Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs; 1 Count of Class B Unlawful Trafficking of Scheduled Drugs

Maximum Penalty:

  • For Class A Charges: 30 years in prison; $50,000 fine; 4 years of probation per count
  • For Class B Charge: 10 years in prison; $20,000 fine; 3 years probation

Mandatory Minimum Penalty:

For the Class A Charges: 4 years in prison per count

For All Counts: Mandatory $400 fine

Summary: Our client was alleged to be the subject of an investigation spanning more than a year, involving multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.  Based on information obtained from multiple informants and cooperating witnesses, the lead detective obtained a search warrant for a specific mobile home within a trailer park.  The warrant authorized the police to search one of the mobile homes for evidence of drug trafficking.  When the police entered that mobile home, they realized they had the wrong mobile home.  Without correcting the warrant with a judge, they then entered the next mobile home, which was not authorized by the warrant.  Our client was present.  They seized a large quantity of drugs, two firearms, and cash.

As soon as we took on the case, we sent a private investigator to the mobile home park to photograph the park’s layout, as this was very important for showing the magnitude of the detective’s mistake in identifying the location to be searched.  We then began the painstaking task of researching this area of 4th Amendment Search and Seizure law, followed by a lengthy, detailed written Motion to Suppress and Incorporated Memorandum of Law.  This laid out the facts and legal argument for the judge, as well as for the District Attorney.  We were then set for a hearing on the Motion to Suppress.  On the eve of the hearing, the District Attorney realized how critical the mistake had been, and knowing the State’s case was severely compromised, made an offer to dismiss all charges in return for a plea to a single count of Class “C” Unlawful Furnishing of Scheduled Drugs for time served.  While we were prepared to move forward with the hearing, our client had spent 6+ months in jail awaiting this hearing, as he was unable to afford the $100k cash bail previously set by the Court.  On the morning of the hearing the client decided to accept the proposed offer, and walked out of the courthouse that same day, a free man.

Result: Dismissal of all Class A and Class B charges.  Guilty plea to a single count of Class C Unlawful Furnishing of Scheduled Drugs for a jail sentence of 6 months and 20 days with full credit for all time served (time-served = 6 months and 20 days in the county jail).  $400 fine.  Forfeiture of two firearms and cash.

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