New Jersey Drug Possession Lawyer
When a person is charged with possession of illegal drugs in the State of New Jersey, they may be confused and scared. Being unsure of the potential consequences of drug charges can be intimidating and can lead to uncertainty and doubt. For this very reason, it is extremely important to work with an experienced New Jersey drug lawyer that specializes in New Jersey drug crime laws and has the required skills and experience needed to maximize the chances of a positive outcome. Only a drug possession defense lawyer understands how drug cases work in New Jersey.
From initial case evaluation, through an examination of the evidence, to questioning witnesses at trial; your drug possession defense lawyer will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome for your unique drug possession case. Our vigorous and thorough criminal defense approach to drug possession charges works to protect you and your rights.
Drug Possession Laws in New Jersey
Simply having illegal substances such as heroin and cocaine is illegal in New Jersey. The possession of even a small amount of these drugs can result in a drug possession charge. It’s important to note that marijuana has been decriminalized, legalized, and approved for medical uses in some states. As of the November 2020 election, New Jersey was one of the states that voted to legalize marijuana for adult use. However, the act of purchasing, possessing, and distributing marijuana through unlawful channels will still be considered a crime in New Jersey. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, it’s important to speak with a drug crime defense attorney.
2C:3-5 defines this illegal possession as:
- To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under their control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog
- To create, distribute, or possess or have under their control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance
New Jersey does not differentiate between simple possession for personal use or manufacturing. When a person is charged with a drug crime, this statute will apply. It is a crime to have a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance. Because of this, the defense of ignorance is not applicable in this drug crime scenario.
If the defendant merely thought they had cocaine in their possession, they are guilty of having cocaine, regardless of the authenticity of the alleged drug.
Potential Penalties for Drug Possession
The penalties associated with drug possession cases vary based upon the type of drugs found and their quantity. Some examples include:
- Possession of heroin in the amount of five ounces or more is a first-degree crime. In addition, the person may be required to pay a fine of up to $500,000
- Possession of methamphetamine in the amount of five ounces or more is a first-degree time, 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 drug crime has a maximum penalty of incarceration for up to 18 months. The most serious type of drug crime, a first-degree drug crime, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. More information about degrees of drug 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 drugs that a person is accused of possessing.
The district attorney will need to demonstrate both the amount and the authenticity of the drugs alleged. New Jersey drug possession lawyers can dispute the amount and authenticity in a New Jersey court.
New Jersey Drug Possession Lawyer
In the New Jersey criminal code, even the possession of less than one ounce of certain drugs is considered to be a drug possession crime. A conviction under this statute can result in jail time and a mark on a person’s criminal record.
New Jersey drug possession criminal defense lawyer John Fabriele is 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 drug possession criminal defense attorney will examine every aspect of an individual’s case to custom fit a defense to each person’s unique possession circumstances. In every step of the process, our firm helps clients to navigate the criminal justice system. Contact our drug crime defense law firm today to learn more about how our drug crime lawyers can help.
For possession of Marijuana in New Jersey go to the Possession of Marijuana page.
Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Drug Possession and Drug Possession Laws
Facing criminal drug crime charges can spark a lot of confusion, fear, anxiety, and stress. This is especially true when it comes to drug possession. However, the more you understand about New Jersey drug crime laws and what a drug possession criminal defense attorney can accomplish, the more confident you’ll feel about what happens next. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers that can help ease any uncertainty that you may have encountered since your possession arrest.
What is a CDS?
Many offenders will see the abbreviation “CDS” on arrest reports and are often confused by this. CDS stands for Controlled Dangerous Substance in New Jersey. A controlled dangerous substance is anything that you would find under the list of Scheduled drugs in New Jersey law, such as stimulants, depressants, steroids, or narcotics. One drug that is on the list of controlled dangerous substances that remains vague in terms of possession laws is marijuana. As of the November 2020 election, New Jersey was one of the states that voted to legalize marijuana for adult use. However, the act of purchasing, possessing, and distributing marijuana through unlawful channels will still be considered a crime in New Jersey. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, it’s important to speak with a drug crime defense attorney. If you’ve been charged with any drug crime and you need clarification on the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substance Act, contact our criminal defense law firm today to speak with an attorney that specializes in drug crime and drug possession.
What should I know about New Jersey drug possession laws?
New Jersey Drug Possession Laws are defined in 2C:35-10. You can find the details of the New Jersey Drug Possession law below. However, it’s important to note that drug laws, such as the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey, are continuously changing and evolving. If you need more clarity on these drug possession laws, reach out to our law firm for more information from a drug crime legal expert.
2C:35-10. Possession, Use or Being Under the Influence, or Failure to Make Lawful Disposition.
a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.). Any person who violates this section with respect to:
- (1) A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $35,000.00 may be imposed;
- (2) Any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $15,000.00 may be imposed;
- (3) Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or more than five grams of hashish is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed; or
- (4) Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person.
Any person who commits any offense defined in this section while on any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of any such school property or a school bus, or while on any school bus, and who is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall, in addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, be required to perform not less than 100 hours of community service.
b. Any person who uses or who is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, for a purpose other than the treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or administered by a physician is a disorderly person.
In a prosecution under this subsection, it shall not be necessary for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of any specific drug, but it shall be sufficient for a conviction under this subsection for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of some controlled dangerous substance, counterfeit controlled dangerous substance, or controlled substance analog, by proving that the accused did manifest physical and physiological symptoms or reactions caused by the use of any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.
c. Any person who knowingly obtains or possesses a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog in violation of subsection a. of this section and who fails to voluntarily deliver the substance to the nearest law enforcement officer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude a prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this title or any other statute.
John Fabriele is a criminal defense attorney that specializes in drug possession crime. John understands that the New Jersey drug possession laws can be complex, vague, and confusing, especially if you’re attempting to understand the law directly from the New Jersey legislation (above). In order to gain a better understanding of what drug possession laws are in New Jersey, contact our law office today.
Is drug possession a felony in New Jersey?
Most drug possession charges in New Jersey are considered felonies and indictable offenses. The specifics of a drug possession criminal charge and penalty will depend on the varying circumstances surrounding a drug possession arrest. For instance, the amount of the drug, the location in which the drug is found, and the authenticity of the alleged drugs in possession will all be taken into consideration when someone is officially charged with a drug possession crime.
If you’d like more information on the classifications of drug possession crimes in New Jersey and what constitutes a drug crime felony or misdemeanor, contact our office to speak with a criminal defense attorney that specializes in drug possession crime.
What happens if you are convicted of drug possession in New Jersey?
If you are convicted of drug possession in New Jersey, your penalties will depend on varying factors. Any possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substances) or narcotics such as cocaine, meth, acid, or heroin will likely result in jail time. The severe penalties that you would receive from a drug possession conviction can potentially be up to 20 years in prison with fines up to $500,000 or more.
For more specific answers on possession charges and penalties after a conviction, contact John Fabriele drug possession criminal defense attorney today.
If I’m a first-time offender, will I go to jail for drug possession?
Even if you’re a first-time drug possession offender, you may still face jail time. The consequences, penalties, and fines for drug possession will vary depending on the type of drug in possession, the amount of the drug, the location, and the authenticity of the drug. However, with the right criminal defense attorney, you may be able to avoid jail time if you’re a first-time drug possession offender.
If you’ve been arrested for the first time on drug possession charges, it can be a daunting and stressful process. You don’t have to go through this alone. Hiring the best New Jersey drug crime criminal defense lawyer you can is your first step.
Contact our law office today for a free consultation.
What is a drug court in New Jersey? Is it different from criminal court?
In the state of New Jersey, the court understands that jail time and heavy fines aren’t necessarily the best way to deal with drug possession. Over the years, the courts have become more compassionate and have evolved with the penalties of drug crimes over other types of criminal charges, such as violent crimes. It’s this philosophy that sets New Jersey drug court apart from criminal court. When going to drug court for drug possession charges, you may be required to go to some form of drug rehabilitation, drug awareness classes, drug support groups, or some other form of a substance abuse recovery program. In criminal court, rehabilitation isn’t seen as an effective option, so penalties will most likely result in traditional consequences such as heavy fines, jail time, community service, or suspension of a license.
If you’re required to go to drug court, it’s important to have a New Jersey drug possession lawyer on your side. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation so you don’t have to appear in drug court alone.
Is it possible to beat a drug possession charge?
Absolutely. Our primary goal will be to design a strong, aggressive, and unique drug possession defense that leads to the best possible results. The defense strategy that your drug possession lawyer creates will depend on your circumstances. A criminal defense lawyer might be able to challenge the way in which law enforcement officers found the drugs in your possession. For instance, if there wasn’t a proper warrant in place to enter your property and conduct a search, a criminal defense attorney can use this to their advantage when formulating your defense. In addition, your drug crime attorney will ask you a lot of questions during your free consultation in order to identify any holes in the prosecutor’s case or mistakes made by law enforcement. Your criminal defense attorney might ask you questions like: Did the police unlawfully enter your property without your permission? Was the amount of drugs found in the arrest report accurate? Were there witnesses? Were the drugs authentic? Where were you when the arrest happened? By collecting as much information as possible about your drug possession arrest, your lawyer will be able to formulate a stronger defense strategy and potentially beat your drug possession charges.
Can I be arrested if I only had drug paraphernalia in my possession and not drugs?
Drug paraphernalia possession without drugs present will most likely result in a disorderly person’s arrest (set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2). This makes possession of drug-related items, such as scales, pipes, marijuana bongs, plastic bags meant for distribution and intent to sell, grinders, rolling papers, syringes, cutting agents, or prescription pads illegal. While this is a minor, lower-level drug possession crime, a law enforcement officer might decide to make an arrest on suspicion of drug possession based solely on the drug paraphernalia found at the time of the arrest. Again, since New Jersey has passed the legalization of marijuana for adult use, drug paraphernalia charges that involve marijuana will continue to be vague and somewhat confusing until all of the terms and conditions of the new law are rolled out. Any marijuana paraphernalia possession charges should be discussed with a defense attorney as soon as possible.
Were you charged with a disorderly person’s arrest for drug paraphernalia possession? While this may be considered a minor crime, it’s still important to hire a criminal defense attorney who specializes in drug crime. Call our law firm for a free consultation regarding your drug paraphernalia possession charges.
Should I hire a drug possession lawyer?
Despite the fact that drug possession criminal charges and a criminal record can potentially destroy an individual’s life, career, and relationships, it’s common for people to ask if it’s important to hire a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in drug possession and drug crime. The answer to that question is, absolutely. It’s highly recommended and in some cases completely necessary to hire a criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a drug possession crime. A lot of this has to do with the penalties, fees, and other consequences of being charged with a drug possession crime in New Jersey. The negative effects of a criminal conviction can be long-lasting, severe, and detrimental to your future. When your freedom is on the line, you want to use the best possible line of defense. To learn more about why it’s important to hire a drug possession criminal defense lawyer, contact our law office today to speak with John Fabriele.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Drug Possession Lawyer for a Free Consultation
John Fabriele understands that a drug possession arrest can be scary and confusing. This is especially true if this is your first drug crime offense. Knowing that you have an excellent New Jersey drug possession lawyer on your side can ease a lot of your anxiety and make you feel secure and confident moving forward. You don’t have to face your drug possession charges alone. For the best possible outcome, work with a highly skilled defense attorney. Contact the John Fabriele Law firm today and let us fight for your rights.
New Jersey Drug Possession Lawyer John B. Fabriele, III
The Law Office of New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer John B. Fabriele, III is open daily to take your possession case. It is essential that you contact an attorney sooner so we can start working on your case immediately. To achieve the best results, you need an experienced drug possession attorney that knows the area. We are experienced attorneys defending New Jersey citizens with drug offenses or drug related crimes in New Jersey Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Union County and surrounding areas.Contact New Jersey Possession Lawyer John B. Fabriele, III today to get your questions answered and start your defense.
New Jersey Drug Possession Lawyer Office
New Jersey Drug Possession Lawyer
East Brunswick , NJ
Phone: (732) 246-0888