Drug charges in South Jersey can range from simple drug possession misdemeanors (disorderly persons) to multi-jurisdictional federal drug trafficking felonies. Regardless of the charge, you need a competent and dedicated criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in the drug-related laws of New Jersey to help you obtain the most favorable outcome.
Depending upon the nature of your drug crime, your lawyer may also advocate on your behalf for the imposition of an alternative sentencing structure wherein you are able to obtain rehabilitation for an underlying substance abuse problem. By working with a drug crime attorney through the drug defense process, you are taking the guesswork out of the prosecution’s next move and are gaining greater control over the outcome of your case.
Drug Possession Cases in New Jersey
Drug possession crimes generally fall into two categories: drug possession for personal use and drug possession with intent to distribute. The former likely carries a lower penalty and the distinction between the two crimes is often a source of contention between prosecutors and drug crime defense attorneys especially in Burlington County. The criminal code contains guidelines for determining whether the accused had the intent to distribute the drugs in his possession or was merely transporting the contraband for personal use. Factors considered include:
- Quantity of drugs in the defendant’s possession;
- Location of drugs when found (e.g., pocket or container);
- Presence of paraphernalia, such as baggies or a scale;
- Observance of hand-to-hand transactions with others;
- Presence of large amounts of money in the defendant’s possession;
- Confidential informants.
If an arresting officer believes you are under the influence of a control dangerous substance (CDS) or prescription medical, you can be charged with a DWI/DUI as well as any criminal complaints that maybe issued.
Being Charged With Drug Cultivation or Manufacturing In New Jersey?
If you are facing charges relating to the cultivation of marijuana or the manufacture of illegal drugs, you should have a criminal defense drug manufacturing attorney aggressively representing you because of the severity of the potential consequences. Law enforcement often circumvents the bounds of constitutional criminal procedure when engaging in the surveillance of alleged manufacture or grow operations. For this reason, there is a possibility you could have these charges dismissed altogether if your attorney can successfully argue for the suppression of drugs seized as a result of unlawful surveillance.
Drug Sales or Trafficking In New Jersey
Drug trafficking activity often crosses state or national lines and could result in the involvement of federal authorities in your drug crimes case. If you are facing both state and federal drug trafficking allegations, your attorney may begin by arguing that only one prosecution is necessary. Your drug trafficking defense lawyer will also represent your rights at a detention hearing to argue on your behalf to have you be released on your recognizance.
If you are caught engaging in drug sales, you could face serious felony (indictable charges at the county level) penalties depending on the amount and type of drugs sold. There are also sentencing enhancements for drug sales within a certain distance of a playground, school or daycare. Regardless of the nature or extenuating circumstances of your drug sales charge, your lawyer will advocate for your matter to remanded back the municipal courts for a reduction or dismissal of charges – particularly if this is your first offense or you are engaged in the sale of small quantities of drugs.
Call Us Today To Speak With An Experienced Drug Crime Attorney
Even if you are facing a misdemeanor penalty, you are best-advised to work with a drug crimes defense attorney throughout your case. The prosecution loves to see a self-represented opponent and will not arrange for special treatment for any pro se drug defendant. Contact our drug crimes criminal defense law firm to protect your rights and criminal record.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any of the following offenses in New Jersey, please call (609) 267-1101 to schedule a free consultation to further discuss this matter with an experienced drug crime defense law firm:
2C:35-4 Maintaining or Operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility.
2C:35-5 Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing
2C:35-6 Employing a Juvenile in a Drug Distribution Scheme
2C:35-7 Controlled Dangerous Substances Near or on School Property
2C:35-8 Distribution to Persons under at age 18; Enhanced Punishment
2C:35-9 Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Deaths
2C:35-10 Possession, Use or Being Under the Influence, or Failure to Make Lawful Disposition
2C:35-24 Possession of Certain Prescription Drugs
2C: 36-1 Drug paraphernalia
2C:36-2 Use or Possession with Intent to Use, Disorderly Persons
2C:36-3 Distribute, Dispense or Possess with Intent to Distribute or Manufacture
2C:36-6 Possession or Distribution of Hypodermic Syringe or Needle