Mountainside NJ Drug Possession Lawyer
Possession of CDS in the Borough of Mountainside
Several months ago, a man was entering the Mountainside Municipal Court. Because there is a metal detector at the entrance of the courthouse, the man emptied his pockets to ensure that there were no metallic items in his pockets. As the man removed his wallet, three wax folds fell out. It was believed that small amounts of heroin were in the wax folds. Mountainside Police arrested the man for possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS). Heroin addiction is becoming a serious health problem in New Jersey and throughout the country. Accordingly, if you have been charged with heroin possession or another drug possession charge, you need the assistance of an attorney who can defend your case in court, and even help get you connected with substance abuse professionals. We are The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. We are accomplished drug possession attorneys and can help you challenge any drug possession charge on constitutional grounds as well as any other fact-sensitive issues in your case. Call us at 908-272-1700 to speak to a lawyer with the know how to escape a conviction. Our lawyers are standing by to help you 24/7 and the initial consultation is completely free.
Drug Possession Charges in Mountainside, NJ
Under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, it is unlawful for you to knowingly possess a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) that was not prescribed by a licensed physician. The important terms used in this law are defined as follows:
• Controlled Dangerous Substance. The drug possession statute provides a list of the drugs that are illegal to possess without a prescription. Some of the more common drugs covered by the statute include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA, Methamphetamine (crystal meth), GHB, LSD, PCP, and prescription legend drugs like OxyContin and Xanax.
• Knowingly. To be guilty of drug possession, you must “knowingly” possess the CDS. Knowing means you are aware that you possess a CDS. The prosecutor must prove knowledge through inferences from conduct, words, or actions.
• Possession. There are two types of possession covered by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. Actual possession means that you have the item on your person, and you are aware that it is on your person. Constructive possession means that you do not have the item on your person, but you have control and ownership over the item. (For example, if you asked someone to hold something for you. It is not on your person, but you have control and ownership over the item.) Both actual and constructive possession of a CDS are illegal under New Jersey law.
Penalties for Possession of CDS in Mountainside
The possible sentence for drug possession varies depending upon the amount and type of CDS in your possession. There are enhanced penalties for possession of CDS within 1,000 feet of school property or 500 feet of a public park, library, or public housing.
Possession of heroin, cocaine, MDMA (e.g. Ecstasy or Molly), LSD or methamphetamine is a third degree crime. Those types of crimes are punishable by 3 to 5 years imprisonment, and up to a $35,000 fine. Being in possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, or 5 or more dosage units of a prescription drug, is a fourth-degree crime. Those crimes are punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, and up to a $25,000 fine ($10,000 for prescription drugs). A third degree crime or fourth degree crime for possession of CDS falls outside the jurisdiction of the municipal court in Mountainside so your case will be directed to the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth if you are facing such an offense.
Finally, being in possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana in Mountainside, or 4 or less dosage units of a prescription drug, is a disorderly persons offense. Those crimes could result in up to 6 months imprisonment, and a $1,000 fine. Disorderly persons offenses are usually handled in Mountainside Municipal Court.
You should also know that there is a mandatory driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 2 years that always applies when someone is convicted of drug possession in New Jersey whether the conviction is for a disorderly persons offense, fourth degree or third degree crim.
Possible Defenses. A Marshall Firm attorney has the expertise to evaluate the facts of your case and determine what viable defenses are available to you. While example of the man dropping wax folds at the courthouse above is an unusual set of facts, drug possession cases typically arise from car stops. Accordingly, here are some defenses your Marshall Firm attorney will explore:
• Police lacked probable cause to search your car.
• Police stopped and frisked you without reasonable suspicion.
• The testing to prove the presence of CDS was flawed.
• You were not in actual or constructive possession of the CDS.
Mountainside CDS Possession Defense Attorney
Drug possession charges can lead to penalties that can have a huge impact on your work and your life. Hiring a savvy defense attorney to defend you possession offense in Mountainside or elsewhere can help you avoid these ramifications. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall understand what it takes to fully protect someone in your shoes and are ready to do what it takes to help you move ahead with your life. If your were arrested or otherwise charged with CDS possession in Mountainside and want the benefit of a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact our firm anytime 24/7. A lawyer is available to assist you immediately at 908-272-1700.