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 is intimidating and can lead to uncertainty and doubt.

For this very reason, it is extremely important to work with an experienced drug possession lawyer with the required skills and experience needed to maximize the chances of a positive outcome. Attorneys understand how drug cases work in New Jersey.

From initial case evaluation, through examination of the evidence, to questioning witnesses at trial; attorneys will work with clients to obtain the best possible outcome for their unique case. This vigorous and thorough approach to defending drug charges works to protect clients and their rights.

Drug Possession Laws in New JerseySimply having illegal substances such as heroin and cocaine is illegal in New Jersey. In addition, the possession of even a small amount of marijuana, while decriminalized in some states, remains illegal in New Jersey. New Jersey Statute 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.

If the defendant merely thought they had cocaine, 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 they 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 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. New Jersey drug possession lawyers can dispute the amount and authenticity in court.

Speaking with a Lawyer

In New Jersey criminal code, even 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.

New Jersey drug possession defense 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.

Attorneys 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, our firm helps clients to navigate the criminal justice system. Contact our firm today to learn more about how our lawyers can help.