New Jersey has among the strictest drug laws in the United States. If you are found in possession of a controlled substance, it is not uncommon for prosecutors and police officers to do everything possible to increase the severity of the charges you are facing, and a simple possession charge may become intent to distribute.
New Jersey makes it a crime to be in the possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), including marijuana, heroin, cocaine, oxytocin, and ecstasy.
The law divides these substances into five schedules based on the probability of abuse, danger, and recognized medical value. If you are facing charges for drug possession, you are facing a mandatory six-month license suspension as well as jail or prison time and hefty fines. The penalties for a second or subsequent conviction of drug possession may also include up to twice the penalties.
While being found in possession of a small amount of controlled substances can be argued as being for personal and recreational use, you may be facing possession with intent to distribute if you are found with a large amount of drugs or even a relatively small amount of drugs that are treated more seriously, including methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin.
Police officers and prosecutors will come to the conclusion that you were intending to distribute the controlled substance based on many factors, including the amount of drugs, how they were packaged, the amount of money found with the drugs, and the circumstances of your arrest.
The penalty for a conviction depends on the type of drug, the amount, and other factors. You may be facing anywhere from 18 months to 20 years in prison and very heft fines, as well as restitution, forfeiture of your job if you are a public employee, community service, a suspended driver's license, and a loss of some rights.
In New Jersey, it is unlawful to be in the possession of drug paraphernalia that is used to test, pack, store, hide, ingest, manufacturer, grow, compound, or harvest drugs with the intent to use it as such. Common types of drug paraphernalia include pipes, syringes, capsules, rolling papers, spoons, bongs, scales, and plastic baggies.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons charge (misdemeanor). If you are convicted, you face a license suspension for 6-24 months along with jail time of up to 6 months and fines. You may face higher penalties if your charge is combined with drug possession or other drug-related charges.
New Jersey has very strict drug laws. If you are facing a drug-related charge, contact New Jersey drug defense attorney Mark A. Bernstein today at (609) 665-3338 to discuss your case during a free consultation.