Westfield NJ Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer
If you were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Union County, there are a few things you need to know. The first thing you should be aware of is that N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 makes it illegal to “use or possess with the intention to use” any form of drug paraphernalia including a pipe, scale, grinder, bowl, one hitter, etc. A conviction for violating this law results in penalties and consequences that are too frequently underestimated including the resulting criminal record and mandatory driver’s license suspension of 6-24 months. Do not make this mistake, especially when the likelihood is that one of our lawyers typically avoids a plea or finding of guilty to drug paraphernalia possession.
We believe that our credentials are extremely formidable if you are seeking a knowledge lawyer to defend you drug paraphernalia charge. The attorneys on the defense team at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has been defending disorderly persons offenses like possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana and drug paraphernalia for over 100 years combined in Union County municipal courts. We are former prosecutors with the experience and familiarity with the court system that you need for success in Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Berkeley Heights, Clark or any other venue in the county. Call us for a free initial consultation at 908-272-1700.
Drug Paraphernalia Offense Under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2
As previously stated, the NJ Drug Paraphernalia Law is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2. This statute provides that:
It shall be unlawful for any person to use , or to possess with intent to use , drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical in violation of the provisions of chapter 35 of this title. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.
You will note that this law makes no reference to specific items that are considered drug paraphernalia since that is definition is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1.
What Constitutes Drug Paraphernalia?
N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 sets forth not only a list of items that qualify as “drug paraphernalia” but also provides factors for determining whether something is being used in conjunction with drugs or CDS in violation of 2C:36-2. In this regard, the statute provides that the following constitute drug paraphernalia:
any equipment, items, products, or materials of any kind that are used, or intended to be used, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growin, harvesting, manufacturing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, analog, or toxic chemical in violation of the New Jersey criminal drug statutes.
. . . .
planting kits for plants that qualify as a CDS, kits used to create substance analogs, testing equipment used for identifying the strength and efficacy of CDS’s, scales and balances used to measure CDSs, dilutants or adulterants used to augment CDS quantities, blenders used to compound CDSs and adulterants, capsules balloons and envelopes used to package small quantities of CDS, containers used to store or hide quantities of CDS, and objects used for ingesting, inhaling or introducing marijuana, cocaine, hash, nitrous oxide, or other toxic chemicals into the human body. The latter category, objects used to introduce substances into the body, include assorted pipes, water pipes, tubes with carbs, smoking masks, roach clips, cocaine vials or spoons, and vaporization devices.
As previously stated, the law sets forth factors that the police, court, etc., are to consider in determining whether something is illegal paraphernalia including: (1) statements by the owner, (2) proximity to illegal substances, (3) existence of drug residue, (4) instructions provided with product, (5) materials accompanying item depicting illicit uses, (6) national understanding of illicit purpose, and (7) potential legitimate uses of the object.
Grading of Paraphernalia Charges
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons offense. And this violation applies whether you were actually using unlawfully in conjunction with drugs or item was possessed with the intent to use it in this manner. Distribution of drug paraphernalia is more serious and involves a Fourth Degree Crime, which is a felony that can only be decided at the Union County Superior Court, Elizabeth NJ. Providing paraphernalia to a minor (i.e. someone under 18 years of age) is even more serious offense since it constitutes a Third Degree Crime.
Penalties for Possession or Use of Drug Paraphernalia
A conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia carries maximum potential penalties that include up to 6 months in the County Jail, over one thousand dollars in fines and court assessments, probation, community service, and a mandatory drivers license suspension that can reach 2 years.
Cranford Paraphernalia Possession Defense Attorney
If you or your loved one (e.g. child) was arrested and/or charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it is in your best interests to give us a call. While the law and penalties may seem black and white, this isn’t the case when it comes to the cases in which we defend in Plainfield, Kenilworth, Roselle, Rahway, Springfield and other municipal courts. The reality is that, for any number of reasons, our attorneys are able to avoid a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia and/or many of the penalties in a high percentage of cases. If you were arrested and are facing a 2C:36-2 offense or marijuana possession charge, it is certainly in your best interests to consult with a lawyer at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. We are available 24/7 by calling our Union NJ Office at 908-272-1700.