Elizabeth NJ Drug Possession Lawyer
Charged With Possession of CDS in Elizabeth
If you have been charged with drug possession in Elizabeth, New Jersey, whether it be marijuana, prescription drugs, methamphetamine, cocaine, or any other controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”), you have a very serious problem.
A conviction for possession of CDS can be devastating, especially for those who work or want to work in government, an occupation that requires a license or in many other facets, for example, maintaining immigration status. All of this is on top of the penalties that are triggered under the New Jersey Drug Possession Law including fines, license suspension and the real possibility of imprisonment.
A lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is equipped to develop an effective defense strategy so that your rights, freedom, and future are protected. We are ex-prosecutors and other highly knowledgeable defense attorneys who have been appearing in Elizabeth Municipal Court and at the Union Superior Court for decades. An attorney on our staff is available to assist you at 908-272-1700.
Drug Possession Offense in Elizabeth New Jersey
The United States Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs in terms of propensity of addiction and abuse by schedule. New Jersey has adopted the same system for classifying CDS in this state. The following is a breakdown of the some of the more important aspects of the classification system:
- Schedule I is comprised of drugs such as LSD, MDMA, heroin, and even marijuana that are regarded as quite dangerous, are extremely addictive, and have no approved medical uses.
- Schedule II is comprised of drugs like amphetamines, methamphetamines, PCP, morphine, and cocaine that are dangerous, have a high potential for abuse, but may have approved medical uses.
- Schedule III is comprised of drugs that are not as dangerous as Schedule II drugs, but still possess a moderate potential for abuse. This includes stimulants, depressants, and steroids.
- Schedule IV drugs still have a moderate risk of abuse, but also have widely accepted medical uses, they include drugs such as Xanax, Valium, tranquilizers, and sedatives.
- Schedule V substances have very little risk of addiction and include drugs like cough medicine, codeine and Tylenol.
Under N.J.S.A, 2C:35-10, it is illegal to knowingly or purposely obtain or possess a CDS without a valid prescription, actually or constructively. Actual possession means that the substance in question was found on your person and in your physical custody such as, for example, in your hand, pocket or purse. Constructive possession essentially means that the substance in question was not in your custody but you had the ability and intention of exercising control over it in the future. A common scenario for constructive possession is drugs hidden in a motor vehicle or residence which the accused does not have custody over but which he/she intends to possess in the future.
Most drug charges in New Jersey are felonies, which mean that if you are convicted, you will be facing stiff fines, a prison sentence, and a criminal record for felony drug possession. The only exception is possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana in Elizabeth or possessing four or fewer doses of a prescription legend drug which are both disorderly persons offenses falling under the authority of the Elizabeth Municipal Court. All other cases involving CDS possession are indictable and may only be handled at the Union County Courthouse which is also located in Elizabeth New Jersey.
The penalties for drug possession as set forth under 2C:35-10 are as follows:
- Possession of a Schedule I, II, III or IV drug is a third-degree crime and if convicted, you will face a fine of up to $35,000, 3-5 years in a state prison, and loss of your driving privileges for 6-24 months.
- Possession of a Schedule V drug is a fourth-degree crime and if convicted, you will face a fine of up to $15,000 and 18 months in state prison.
- Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, or more than 5 grams of hashish is a fourth-degree crime and, if convicted, you will face a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
- Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, or 5 grams of hashish is a disorderly persons offense (a misdemeanor) and, if convicted, you will face a fine of up to $1,000, up to 6 months in jail, and loss of your driving privileges for 6-24 months.
Elizabeth NJ Drug Possession Defense Attorney
At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our lawyers not only understand the fundamentals and mechanics of the New Jersey criminal justice system, but we also understand the importance of being articulate advocates. Advocates who will work hard on your behalf to preserve your rights and to convince others of your innocence. What’s more, we believe that every client who hires a defense attorney on our team deserves the opportunity to have his or her case fully challenged so that the very best outcome is achieved.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner a lawyer can begin to work on our Elizabeth drug possession case. This can insure that your rights are not prejudiced and that you have the optimum chance of dismissing charges, securing a downgrade, or gaining admission into Pretrial Intervention or Conditional Discharge. The choice is yours.
If you been charged with drug possession in Elizabeth, New Jersey, don’t delay. Call and speak with one our Drug Possession Defense Lawyers at 908-227-1700.