Monmouth County Drug Possession Lawyer

The possession of illegal drugs is considered to be a severe crime in New Jersey. When a person is charged with possession of even a small amount of marijuana, the penalties upon conviction can include significant jail time.

An experienced Monmouth County drug possession lawyer will have experience helping clients charged with illegal drug possession to protect their rights. They can answer all of a client’s questions, including:

  • What does illegal possession mean?
  • What are the potential penalties?
  • How can a drug possession defense attorney help?

A knowledgeable criminal attorney in Monmouth County can build a defense to help lessen or dismiss any penalties an individual may be facing.

Understanding Illegal Possession

Most people understand that having an illegal drug on their person is against the law. However, the legal concept of possession is far more complicated.

When a person thinks about their belongings, they do not only possess what they are currently holding. They also possess their car, money in the bank, and their house. From a legal perspective, this is known as constructive possession.

This is a theory used by law enforcement and prosecutors to tie illegal drugs to a defendant. Whenever the police search a person’s house with a warrant, any illegal items they find are assumed to be in the possession of the person living in that house.

A knowledgeable drug possession attorney in Monmouth County can fight this presumption by challenging the legality of the warrant, as well as by contesting the means by which the warrant was executed.

New Jersey Statute 2C:35-5 is the law concerning the illegal possession, manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. New Jersey is especially strict when an individual considers that the law does not distinguish between possession for personal use or possession with intent to distribute.

This means that the penalties for simple possession and possession with the intent to distribute are identical. This statute contains the sentencing guidelines for convictions for all illegal drugs including heroin, narcotics and marijuana. To understand such penalties, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a Monmouth County drug possession lawyer.

Potential Penalties

The penalties for a conviction on a charge of possession of an illegal substance vary depending on the type of drug found and its amount. Generally speaking, the greater the amount found, the stricter the penalty. Some examples include:

  • Possession of methamphetamine in the amount of 5oz or more is a first-degree crime, with an added fine of up to $300,000. Subsection (b)(8).
  • Possession of heroin in the amount of 5oz or more is a first-degree crime. In addition, the person may be required to pay a fine of up to $500,000. Subsection (b)(1).
  • Possession of marijuana of one ounce or less is a crime of the fourth degree. Subsection (b)(12).

A conviction on any of these examples includes potential jail time. The most serious crimes in New Jersey, first-degree crimes, carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The least severe crime in the possession of drugs category, a fourth-degree crime, has a maximum penalty of 18 months’ incarceration. Regardless of the degree of crime, all convictions remain on a person’s criminal record. To defend against such penalties, an individual should not hesitate before consulting with a Monmouth County drug possession attorney.

Benefit of an Attorney

From arraignment, to pre-trial hearings, to a potential trial, the criminal justice system is intimidating. A knowledgeable Monmouth County possession attorney will have experience helping clients navigate this complex system.

From the initial case consultation, to examining the evidence, to arguments in court, an attorney can work with clients to custom fit a defense to their unique circumstances.

Police and district attorneys push hard to gain convictions on drug crimes. Do not take any unnecessary chances. Contact a drug possession lawyer in Monmouth County today to begin building a defense.