Bergen County Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute Attorneys

If you have been charged with possession of heroin or distribution of heroin in Bergen County you are facing serious penalties.  The governing statute in New Jersey for heroin distribution is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(1).  Bergen County has seen a sudden rise in heroin distribution, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, marijuana distribution and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute charges over the years. The rise is directly related to the prescription drug epidermic. Once people realize how expensive a prescription drug addiction is, they inevitably resort to the much cheaper version of heroin. If you or someone you know has been charged with heroin distribution we can help.  The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has eight criminal defense attorneys on staff, making use one of the largest criminal defense firms in the state.  Our staff is comprised of two former County and four former Municipal Prosecutors, who have over twenty years of combined prosecuting experience.  If you have any questions regarding your pending charges please contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation. Here is some important information with regards to heroin distribution charges.

Englewood NJ Heroin Distribution Lawyers: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

Before an individual can be convicted of manufacturing, distributing or dispensing heroin in New Jersey the prosecution must prove three material elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Those elements are:

    • The item seized was in fact heroin or its analog;
    • That the defendant actually manufactured, dispensed or distributed the said heroin &
    • That the defendant acted knowingly or purposely in doing so.

With regards to acting “knowingly”, the prosecution must prove that defendant was aware of the character of the substance in question.  With regards to acting  “purposely”  the underline objective of the defendant was to manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”).

Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute Attorneys in Fort Lee NJ

If  the defendant is not actually caught manufacturing or distributing heroin, the prosecution may try and convict them of possession with the Intent to Distribute.  The state must prove four material elements for this offense and they are:
            • That the item is in fact, heroin or its analog;
            • That the defendant possessed the heroin or had it in his control;
            • That the defendant did in fact know that what he possessed was heroin; &
            • That the defendant possessed the heroin with an intent to distribute, dispense, or manufacture it.

Potential Penalties & Grading of the Offense

          • First Degree Offense: If the quantity of the heroin seized during the arrest is five ounces or more, including any adulterants.
          • Second Degree Offense: If the quantity of heroin  is one-half ounce or more, but less than five ounces including any adulterants or dilutants.
          • Third Degree Offense:  If the quantity of heroin is less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or dilutants.
A conviction for a first degree offense in New Jersey carries a presumption of incarceration and that term can be anywhere between 10-20 years.  A conviction for a second degree offense also carries with it a presumption of incarceration and that term can range from 5-10 years.  Conversely, a conviction of a third degree offense carries a presumption of non-incarceration, however, that non-presumption can be overcome and a defendant may be sentenced up to five years in prison.
Depending on underline facts, such as the quantity of heroin seized, the location in which it was seized from and the defendants prior record, they may be eligible for either Pre-Trial Intervention or Drug Court. These are both considered diversionary programs and if applicable they will substitute the possibility of incarceration with a probationary sentence and may even help the defendant avoid a criminal record.

Heroin Distribution Lawyers in Garfield NJ

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff.  We have been handling heroin distribution and possession with intent cases throughout Bergen County, including towns like Teaneck, Fort Lee, Lodi, Bergenfield, Ridgefield, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Montvale and Garfield for over fifteen years. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of heroin with the intent to distribute or manufacturing heroin it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately about your options.  Please feel free to contact any one of our Bergen County offices if you have any further questions.