When Eagles player Josh Huff was arrested for the possession of a handgun, Ken Aita guest spoke on 97.5 to discuss this event.
MIKE: Attorney on the phone, his name’s Ken, he’s from Jersey. Ken, are you with us?
KEN AITA: I’m with you, Mike.
MIKE: All right, Ken, explain what the deal is here with this Josh Huff gun charge.
KEN AITA: Ah, here’s the deal. I’ve handled dozens and dozens of gun cases in Camden county. You cannot get probation, the prosecutor’s office cannot offer that to you. But like you had said earlier, in response to this phlebotomist’s case from Atlanta County.
KEN AITA: In 2014, Governor Christie and the attorney general’s office issued a guideline to the county prosecutors, that they are not, that they can allow PTI under certain circumstances.
MIKE: That’s a pre-trial intervention program.
KEN AITA: Yes, it is, Mike. You don’t go to jail, and you don’t get a conviction, and they put you on probation.
MIKE: Right, under certain circumstances.
KEN AITA: Correct. And there would have to be certain circumstances, there cannot be aggravating factors. So one of the issues, one of the factors would be if someone has a permit to carry in another state. So, I’ve never dealt with it with Texas. I’ve dealt with it with Pennsylvania and I’ve gotten people PTI when they had licenses to carry in PA but no other aggravating factors whatsoever.
MIKE: All right, so in the case of this phlebotomist, she had circumstances where she worked late at night, and she was robbed and beaten in a really rough neighborhood, and her job was collecting blood samples from medical patients at odd hours. Those were the circumstances?
KEN AITA: Yes. But just the fact that she had a permit to carry would be something that the PTI board would take into consideration.
MIKE: Okay, now as far as we know, he does not have a permit to carry.
KEN AITA: My understanding is that, I guess we’ll know the facts soon enough, but if he does not have a permit to carry, he’s going to prison.
MIKE: Okay. He has a permit to carry in Texas. Would that have anything to do with it?
KEN AITA: Well, I’ve never dealt with Texas specifically, I’ve dealt with PA, but I would assume the same law would apply or the same factors would apply for PTI regardless of where you have the permit.
MIKE: All right, so chances are he’s not going to get PTI.
KEN AITA: Chances are he probably will not get PTI.
MIKE: And that means jail time?
KEN AITA: It’s mandatory jail. The attorney general’s office monitors the county prosecutors and every gun case that goes through their offices and they may not do anything other than prison unless there’s some other factor there, like if it’s a bad search or if there’s some other reason that you would need to drop the case. Then you could make offers, but it would be based on the strength of the case.
MIKE: Is there any way he can wriggle out of this?
KEN AITA: I think that the way he may be able to get out of it, again, would be if there’s a bad search. If it’s not a bad search, and he does not have a valid permit, then most likely he’s going to get some prison time.
MIKE: All right, is he in trouble as far as the search goes, when the police officers say they openly smell marijuana in the vehicle?
KEN AITA: Well, that’s interesting too. There’s a case that came out a couple years ago, State vs. Witt, that allowed the police officer to go into a vehicle with probable cause only, and the smell of marijuana is probable cause enough to get into the car.
MIKE: And that’s what I assume happened here.
KEN AITA: Well, whether it did or didn’t, the cop will say it did.
MIKE: All right, all right. That’s great stuff, Ken, we appreciate it.
KEN AITA: You’re welcome, Mike.
MIKE: All right, man, that’s Ken, an attorney in Jersey, pretty much laid it out. So it does not look like Josh Huff can get a break in this situation.