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New Jersey Campus Drug Offense Lawyer

Any allegation of illegal possession, distribution, or trafficking of drugs is a serious criminal matter. But anyone accused of these crimes while a student at a college or university may face additional concerns.

On top of any fines or jail sentences that they may face, the mere accusation of a drug crime could trigger a school disciplinary board into action. It is important for an individual to be able to defend themselves against these allegations. 

A New Jersey campus drug offense lawyer could represent students in both criminal courts and at campus disciplinary board hearings. An experienced student defense attorney can work to protect students’ freedoms and their right to continue their education.

What is Considered a Campus Drug Offense?

Drug cases in New Jersey vary in their severity and potential punishments. Simply having these drugs in one’s possession is enough to warrant an arrest. The definitions of charges such as simple possession, manufacture, and distribution of illegal substances are in NJ Rev Stat 2C §35-5.

While many states decriminalized the possession of marijuana, New Jersey has not. The police could arrest and charge any person with any amount of drugs either on their person or under their control.

How Serious Are These Charges?

The penalties for drug offenses vary depending upon the type of drug and the amount. The least severe charges are disorderly person offenses. These are still offenses that could carry a potential for jail time and heavy fines. A New Jersey campus drug offense lawyer knows that in cases where the accused has no prior record, may allow them to participate in a drug education program to avoid jail time.

More serious drug charges involve the manufacture or distribution of illegal substances. The police investigations of these allegations involve search warrants, controlled buys, and sting operations. Accordingly, these offenses could result in mandatory jail sentences and astronomical fines.

Impact of an Arrest On Someone’s Education

All of New Jersey’s colleges and universities implement a personal code of conduct that all members of that community must follow. A violation of this code, or even an allegation of one, could trigger an investigation. All schools have their own unique policies and procedures, but an arrest for a drug offense will almost certainly be cause for alarm.

The exact procedures employed by the schools will vary, but in general the school will investigate the matter independently of the police, hold hearings to discuss the matter, and issue a ruling. The penalties for violation of this policy can be harsh. They range from the issuance of a reprimand to suspension or expulsion.

Seeking the Help of an Attorney

It is easy to understand how college students can make mistakes. Anyone over the age of 18 must follow the laws that society created. In addition, students must adhere to codes of conduct enforced by their schools.

Any violation of New Jersey’s drug laws may result in criminal charges and a school investigation. A student could face significant jail time, a permanent criminal record, and expulsion from school. A New Jersey campus drug offense lawyer could help.