Drug Possession Lawyers in Lyndhurst NJ
In Bergen County, possession of a controlled dangerous substance is a serious offense with serious consequences. You should not attempt to tackle these charges alone and acquiring experienced representation can often be the difference between crippling fines and jail time and walking away without a criminal charge. At the Law Offices of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall we have a lot of experience in all types of drug offenses.
Under the statute that defines possession in the state of New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, it is “unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L. 1970.”
The penalties for such an offense vary depending upon the quantity of the drug possessed, as well as the type of drug possessed, and prior drug convictions. However, as a general rule, a person that possesses a CDS or its analog classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV or other than those specifically covered in that section is guilty of a crime of the third degree and may be subject to a fine up to $35,000.00. Any possession of a CDS classified in Schedule V is a fourth degree crime subject to a fine of up to $15,000.00.
Fort Lee NJ Drug Possession Defense Attorneys
Three drugs carry slightly different and/or stricter sentences and these are marijuana, cocaine, and heroin:
- For marijuana, possession of more than 50 grams, including any adulterants or dilutants, is a crime of the fourth degree and a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed. Any person that possesses less than 50 grams of marijuana, including adulterants and or dilutants, will be regarded as a disorderly person.
- Simple possession of cocaine or crack is generally a third degree offense. A third degree offense carries a maximum term of incarceration of five (5) years, but, however, a presumption against incarceration exists where an individual has no prior indictable convictions. Additionally, a suspect charged with third degree possession is generally eligible for pretrial intervention, referred to typically as PTI, provided that no prior PTI diversion has been granted previously.
- In terms of heroin, it is against the law for you to possess any amount of the substance. A person who has possessed heroin, no matter how small the amount, is guilty of a crime of the third degree, and faces up to 5 years in prison. The fine attendant with a Third Degree Heroin Possession charge is up to $35,000. If you are charged with this offense, a mandatory suspension of your driver license for six month’s is also applicable if you are convicted.
The reason for the varying gradations and the lessening of the severity for marijuana as opposed to cocaine and heroin is related to the dangers associated with each of the drugs and also the dangers associated with the potentiality for distribution of each of the drugs.
Do not assume, however, that just because you have been caught in possession of a controlled dangerous substance that there is nothing that can be done for you. Our lawyers will explore many of a number of avenues to lesson the severity of these charges:
1. Was the search and seizure legally conducted?
2. Was there probable cause for the stop and frisk?
3. If you were charged with intent to distribute, can the charge be lessened to simple possession?
4. Did you actually know that you were in possession of the drugs?
5. Were you given an effective reading of your Miranda Rights at the time of arrest?
Mistakes made by the arresting officers as to procedural conduct often lead to dismissals or at least the ability to reduce the crime to a lesser charge in a plea bargain.
Drug Possession Lawyer in Mahwah NJ
Few of our clients ever go to jail on a first offense possession charge of a non-scheduled drug such as marijuana or hashish. Our lawyers routinely are able to arrange alternatives such as admission to drug court, treatment programs, supervision, or a conditional discharge. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance in Bergen County, please do not hesitate to call and consult one of our experienced attorneys about possible options going forward with your case. We have been successfully defending individuals charged with possession of CDS throughout Bergen County in towns like Paramus, Elmwood Park, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Palisades Interstate Park and Lodi for over fifteen years.