Middlesex County Possession Lawyer
While some states like Colorado, Massachusetts, and California have recently decriminalized the possession of small amount of marijuana. New Jersey has kept the possession of all drugs illegal.
When a person gets charged with the possession of an illegal substance, they are often confused and frightened. The laws in New Jersey are strict when it comes to drug possession, with potential sentences including significant jail time and heavy fines.
Experienced possession lawyers work with people every day to understand their cases and work towards the best possible outcome considering their unique circumstances. A Middlesex County possession lawyer will have a local understanding of the law and how to approach your case.
New Jersey Laws Regarding Possession
The laws in New Jersey concerning the possession of illegal drugs are found in New Jersey Statute 2C:35-5. This statute covers all illegal substances including opiates, narcotics, marijuana, and improperly possessed prescription medications.
New Jersey is especially strict because the law does not differentiate between possession and distribution.
This means that if a person is accused of having five ounces of heroin, the law is not concerned with whether this person intends the drugs for personal use or for sale. The specific penalties include:
- Possession of heroin in the amount of 5oz or more is a first-degree crime. The person may be required to pay a fine of up to $500,000
- Possession of methamphetamine in the amount of 5oz or more is a first-degree crime, with an added fine of up to $300,000
- Possession of marijuana of one ounce or less is a crime of the fourth degree
A conviction under any of these categories carries a potential jail sentence. A fourth-degree crime has a maximum penalty of incarceration up to 18 months. The most serious crimes, first-degree crimes, carry a maximum sentence of 20 years. More information about degrees of crime in New Jersey can be found in NJ Statute 2C:43-6.
It is important to note that the potential penalties are tied to the amount of drug that a person is accused of possessing. The district attorney will need to demonstrate both the amount and the authenticity of the drugs alleged. Our Middlesex County Possession Lawyers can dispute the amount and authenticity in court.
Defining Drug Possession
Courts generally agree that if illegal drugs are found on a person when searched by law enforcement, it is in that person’s possession. However, police may use other methods and theories to attempt to prove that the drugs were in a person’s possession.
One common method is the theory of constructive possession. Just as someone would possess items in a safe at a bank, they are not always at the bank. Meaning, even if an individual is not around, the police may attempt to use this same logic to arrest or charge them. If the police obtain a search warrant, then a person may be charged with possession if drugs are found.
One way a Middlesex County possession attorney can contest a case is to argue that this warrant should never have been issued by the court.
How an Attorney Can Help
In Middlesex County, the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is considered to be a crime. A conviction under this statute can result in jail time and a mark on a person’s criminal record.
Middlesex County possession lawyers are knowledgeable and hard-working in helping people protect their rights. The result in drug possession cases often hinges on how the drugs were discovered and whether the police had the right to search that location.
A possession lawyer will examine every aspect of an individual’s case to custom fit a defense to each person’s unique circumstances. In every step of the process, they can help clients navigate the criminal justice system.