When you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you need to hire a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced NJ defense attorney can play an instrumental role when you are facing drug charges. You need a NJ lawyer to defend your rights, attack the prosecutor’s case, and obtain a successful result for your charges. I am a board-certified criminal trial by the New Jersey Supreme Court. I handle countless criminal charges throughout the State of New Jersey on a daily basis, including drug possession and distribution charges.
Drug charges and criminal offenses can drastically affect your life. Drug convictions can subject you to fines, community service, probation, county jail, and New Jersey State Prison. All drug convictions require a license suspension from 6 to 24 months as well, unless your attorney knows how to apply for an exception that may save your driving privileges.
New Jersey Drug Offenses
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS)
In New Jersey, the simple possession of an illegal drug (CDS) is a crime. While possession of marijuana or hashish under 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense handled in municipal court, possession of any other CDS is a third degree indictable crime/felony handled in Superior Court. A third-degree drug offense in New Jersey carries 3 to 5 years in state prison, a $35,000 discretionary fine, and a mandatory 6 to 24-month driver’s license suspension – unless your attorney knows how to petition the court for an exception to this penalty.
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) with the Intent to Distribute
In New Jersey, you can be charged for possession with the intent to distribute CDS or distribution of CDS. The penalties are the same for these offenses, even if you did not actually share, sell, or distribute the drug you were arrested for. However, the penalty and potential sentence depends on the drug you were charged with.
- Heroin, Cocaine, Crack-Cocaine
If you are arrested for possession, possession with intent, distribution, manufacturing heroin, cocaine or crack-cocaine in an amount less than one-half ounce (14.17 grams), you can face a 3rd degree crime and 3 to 5 years in jail, a fine up to $75,000, and license suspension.If the amount is between one-half ounce and one ounce (14.17 grams and 28.35 grams, you can face a 2nd degree crime and 5 to 10 years in jail, a fine of $150,000, and license suspension.If the amount is greater than one ounce (28.35 grams), you can face a 1st degree crime which carries 10 to 20 years in jail, a fine of $500,000, and the least of your concerns, a loss of license.
- LSD or Acid
If you are arrested for possession of LSD, also known as acid, you can face a 3rd degree crime and 3 to 5 years in jail, a fine up to $75,000, and license suspension.If the amount of LSD or acid is less than 100 milligrams, you can face a 2nd degree crime and 5 to 10 years in jail, a fine of $150,000, and license suspension.If the amount is more than100 milligrams, you can face a 1st degree crime which carries 10 to 20 years in jail, a fine of $500,000, and the mandatory a loss of your driver’s license.
Pot is still illegal in New Jersey in 2018.
If you are charged with possession with intent or distribution of marijuana in an amount less than 1 ounce, you can face a 4th degree crime, up to 18 months in prison, a fine of $15,000, and loss of license.If the amount of marijuana is between 1 ounce and 5 pounds, you face a 3rd degree crime and 3 to 5 years in jail, a fine up to $25,000, and driver’s license suspension.If the amount of marijuana is between 5 pounds and 25 pounds (including seeds and stems), you face a 2nd degree crime, 5 to 10 years in jail, a $150,000 fine, and loss of license.If the amount of marijuana is over 25 pounds, OR 50 or more plants (regardless of weight) you face a 1st degree crime, 10 to 20 years in jail, a $300,000 fine, and loss of license.
New Jersey Drug Charge Defenses
The best defense is an experienced New Jersey board-certified attorney. There are many defenses to criminal drug charges. Every criminal case is unique, fact sensitive and depends on the allegations set forth by the police. However, the law and your constitutional rights remain the same in all criminal drug cases. Your attorney must obtain all the evidence from the prosecution and apply the law to defend you in your drug case.
Most drug arrests arise after a search of a person or place. The United States and New Jersey constitutions protect everyone against unreasonable, unlawful and illegal searches. If the search of a person or location is conducted with a warrant, the officer must have obtained authorization from a judge or magistrate with a sworn affidavit.
I will review your case to determine if the officer had probable cause to apply for a search warrant in New Jersey. A search by an officer without a warrant is presumed to be unreasonable. If the search of a person or place, such as a car or residence, was conducted without a warrant, the officer needs an exception to the warrant requirement. In this scenario, the prosecutor has the burden to demonstrate that the warrantless search was reasonable.
There are different standards based upon the facts and the place searched. Therefore, it is paramount to retain an attorney who is experienced in not only defending drug charges, but also in handling motions to suppress evidence. If your lawyer can successfully challenge the search and suppress the evidence, the drugs recovered will not be admissible against you in court. If this is the only evidence against you, your case will be dismissed.
Contact My Office Immediately
If you or a family member were arrested for a drug offense, or searched by police with or without a warrant, contact me immediately so that I can make sure that your constitutional rights were not trampled on. I can review your case and the evidence against you and advise you as to all possible defenses to make sure that you are properly represented on your NJ criminal drug charges. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.