New Jersey Drug Charge Lawyers
I represent individuals arrested for drug charges throughout New Jersey. With years of experience defending those accused of drug offenses and office locations throughout the state, we are able to offer a very high level of service to drug defendants. I have experience defending both adult and juvenile drug charges. If you are facing a New Jersey drug charge, I can help.
Call anytime for a consultation with a New Jersey drug charge lawyer.
Drug (CDS) offenses in New Jersey can be either felony charges (crimes or indictables) or misdemeanor (disorderly persons offenses). However, all drug charges in New Jersey carry a mandatory driver’s license suspension of 6-24 months. If you are convicted of a drug charge, the driver’s license suspension can only be waived if you can convince the judge that suspending your license would be an undue hardship to you. This is not an easy burden to meet.
All drug charges in NJ also carry the possibility of jail or prison time. The specific type and degree of the offense will dictate the term of possible imprisonment. A judge in both Municipal and Superior Court can also place you on probation and impose fines and other penalties.
Defenses do exist for New Jersey drug arrests and charges. Many of them must be raised before trial. Hiring a NJ drug charge lawyer with knowledge and experience handling these cases is your best bet.
NJ Drug (CDS) Offenses
The most common New Jersey drug offense is for possession of marijuana in violation of NJSA 2C:35-10(a)4. This charge is oftentimes accompanied by the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in violation of NJSA 2C:36-2.
Both of these charges are “disorderly persons” offenses that subject you to up to 6 months in jail, probation, a $1,000 fine, $500 DEDR fee, and about $150 in other penalties. The court must also suspend your license for up to 2 years unless a hardship exception is granted.
Most other drug charges in New Jersey fall within the 3rd degree felony (crime) range. These include possession of a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) in violation of NJSA 2C:35-10. CDS can mean cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and prescription pills without a prescription.
NJ painkiller and pill (CDS) cases also sometimes involve fraud charges as well. Those with prescription drug addictions often turn to fraud to obtain CDS. This may lead to charges of Attempt to Obtain CDS by fraud, NJSA 2C:35-13; Criminal Attempt, NJSA 2C:5-1; Conspiracy, NJSA 2C:5-2; Uttering a Forged Instrument, NJSA 2C:21-1a(3); and Forgery, NJSA 2C:21-1(a).
Prescription pills have lately seen a huge surge in usage by young adults and juveniles. These commonly include oxycontin, roxycodone, and xanax. Anyone convicted of a third-degree drug charge in New Jersey faces from 3-5 years in prison, probation, up to a 24-month suspension of driver’s license and a $35,000 fine.
Some defendants face even harsher penalties for NJ drug convictions. These include those charged with Strict Liability for Drug Induced Deaths (NJSA 2C:35-9); Possession of large amounts of CDS; Distributing Drugs (CDS) within 500 feet of a public park or housing facility (NJSA 2C:35-7.1); and Distributing Drugs (CDS) within 1000 feet of School Property (NJSA 2C:35-7).
Those who have previously been convicted of a Possession with Intent to Distribute or Distribution of CDS also faced enhanced penalties. This is pursuant to what is known as the “Brimage Guidelines.” Many clients are stunned when informed of the consequences of the Brimage Guidelines, which impose significant and mandatory prison time. I have experience handling these cases and know the challenges they impose. Call to speak with a serious NJ drug arrest lawyer.
NJ Drug Charge Defense Lawyer
Most New Jersey drug arrests result after some kind of search by police. Many cases feature other issues such as surveillance, wire taps, motor vehicle law, and warrant issuance. These areas of law are highly complicated and frequently change. You need a NJ drug criminal defense attorney who understands these issues.
For some individuals, diversionary programs are available. A diversionary program takes the case off the regular trial track. These include the Conditional Discharge (“CD”) and Pre-trial Intervention (“PTI”) Programs.
While these programs seem straightforward, there are guidelines as to who can and who cannot enter them and also exclusions and exceptions to those guidelines. They are generally only available to certain first-time offenders, with little exception. They can only be used once. In other words, if you have already used a CD, you can never get another CD, PTI, or vice-versa.
In those situations where a diversionary program is not available, there are still plenty of options to resolve the case in a favorable way. These include plea-bargaining, motion practice, sentencing negotiation, and trial. Plea-bargaining is allowed in some, but not all, NJ drug charges. Motions, such as the motion to suppress evidence, are pre-trial devices that attack the search of your car, home, or person.
In cases where a plea is appropriate, we can negotiate with the police and prosecutor to obtain the most favorable terms for you. You have the right to a trial in New Jersey on any drug offense and we are always prepared to take your case to trial. Call now to speak with a NJ drug charge lawyer for an analysis of your case.
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