New Jersey Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Lawyer

People who have been charged with drug possession with intent to distribute in New Jersey are often confused. They may wonder how the police can pursue a charge for intent when nothing was ever sold, and how the prosecutor can prove that.  Unfortunately, a person does not need to be caught in the act of selling drugs to be charged with possession with intent to distribute.

A New Jersey drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer can work with clients who have been accused of this crime to better understand the nature of the charges brought against them. A skilled attorney can appear in court on their clients’ behalf to fight these charges every step of the way and work toward a positive result.

Possession with Intent to Distribute in New Jersey

New Jersey Statute 2C:35-5 makes it illegal 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. It also makes it illegal to create, distribute, or possess or have under their control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.

However, this does not tell the entire story. There are a number of ways that the prosecutor will attempt to demonstrate that a person possessed drugs with the intent to distribute them. There are some fairly obvious examples, such as sitting in a car with individually wrapped bags of heroin.

The situation becomes more complicated when drugs are found during the execution of a search warrant of a home. Here, police may find not only drugs, but weighing scales, plastic bags, and large amounts of cash.

None of these items are illegal on their own, but when combined with the presence of illegal drugs, may allow a jury to draw the inference that a drug distribution scheme was taking place.

Possible Penalties

The penalties associated with drug possession cases vary based on the type of drugs found and their quantity. Some examples include:

  • Possession of heroin in the amount of five ounces or more with an intent to distribute 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 with an intent to distribute is a first-degree time, with an added fine of up to $300,000.
  • Possession of marijuana in the amount of between five and 25 pounds is a third-degree crime with and added fine of up to $150,000.
  • It is important to note that the penalties for strict possession and possession with intent to distribute are identical on their faces. However, there are a number of possible aggravating factors that can be attached to distribution cases that make it a more serious offense. These include distribution near a school and employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme.

    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 with intent to distribute lawyers can dispute the amount and authenticity in court.

    How a New Jersey Drug Attorney Can Help

    A person charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs in New Jersey is facing a serious situation. From significant jail time, stiff fines, and a permanent mark on a person’s criminal record, the stakes are high.

    A New Jersey drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer can work with clients to better understand their cases, argue in court against search warrants and evidence, and litigate a trial to protect their clients’ freedom. Do not take any unnecessary chances, contact an attorney today.