Elizabeth NJ CDS Distribution Attorney
Charged With Selling Drugs in Union County
Have you been charged with distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in Elizabeth, New Jersey, be it cocaine, heroin, marijuana or some other CDS? If so, you are facing some significant penalties including the real chance of imprisonment.
Whenever you’ve been charged with manufacturing, selling or possession with intent to distribute drugs, your freedom is at stake. Therefore, you need to protect your rights and your future by securing representation from an attorney who is experienced and aggressive. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help in this role. Our team of lawyers has over 100 years of combined experience defending clients in Elizabeth and throughout Union County. Call our Union Township Office at 898-272-1700 for a free consultation immediately.
CDS Distribution Charges in Elizabeth New Jersey
An individual can be convicted of CDS distribution in Elizabeth under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 if they knowingly or purposely:
- Distributing a controlled dangerous substance; or
- Having under your control with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.
There is a common misconception regarding the concept of distribution of CDS as many people mistakenly believe that if you didn’t sell it, you didn’t distribute it. However, distribution simply means the transfer of a drug from one person to another.
Possession with the intent to distribute, on the other hand, means that you have been found with a quantity of a CDS that can be deemed to be intended for distribution. This can be a very subjective determination, therefore each case of possession with the intent to distribute must be judged on a case-by-case basis.
That being said, there are a variety of factors that must be considered in a possession with the intent to distribute case, including the amount of drugs seized and whether the drug was packaged for sale, for example in numerous small bags. Other factors may include whether or not there were scales found in the arrest, large sums of cash in small denominations, multiple cell phones, etc.
Penalties for Drug Distribution in the City of Elizabeth
Different drugs carry different penalties, largely depending on the schedule in which they are classified. All distribution charges involve felony criminal offense that are graded as either a first degree, second degree, third degree or fourth degree crime. These types of violations fall outside the jurisdiction of the Elizabeth Municipal Court and can only be adjudicated by the Union County Superior Court which is also locate in Elizabeth. In fact, every arrest and charge alleging a violation of 2C:35-5 ends up in Elizabeth because that is where the county courthouse is located. If convicted of distribution or intent to distribute a CDS in New Jersey, you can ultimately face very serious criminal penalties as well as profoundly negative repercussion in your personal life.
The penalties for a distribution conviction in New Jersey can range from 18 months in prison and a potential fine of up to $25,000 on a fourth degree felony charge for distributing marijuana, to 20 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $500,000 on a first degree felony charge for cocaine or heroin distribution.
A conviction for distribution or the intent to distribute a CDS will also be subject to a 6-24 month suspension of your driving privileges. In Addition, some distribution convictions will require you to serve a mandatory minimum prison sentence as well as a mandatory period of parole.
Moreover, if the offense took place within 1,000 feet of school property or within 500 feet of a public park, you will also be charged with violating N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 of the New Jersey criminal code. These are separate offenses that will levy penalties in addition to those imposed by your distribution conviction.
Defending a CDS Distribution Charge in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Unlike federal drug cases, which typically involve large volumes of a controlled substance, complex distribution networks, and extensive investigations, state distribution charges often involve the sale of a small quantity of drugs to an undercover officer or illegal drugs found at the scene of another investigation or arrest, such as routine traffic stop, a domestic violence call, or even a simple noise complaint.
Since the discovery of illegal drugs is often incidental to another investigation or arrest, the police are sometimes unprepared for a proper narcotics investigation, this means that the opportunity for suppression of evidence due to insufficient probable cause, or an illegal search and seizure is often greater in state distribution cases than in federal cases.
Because of this, the first line of defense against any state distribution charge involves a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstance of your arrest and any related search in order to have the evidence suppressed based on errors made by law enforcement when the search was performed.
This type of factual investigation and research represents the best possible defense in a state distribution case, but only if it is performed by an attorney experienced in handling these types cases.
Elizabeth NJ Drug Distribution Defense Lawyer
Drug distribution always involves a serious case where the experience of your defense lawyer really matters. The attorneys at the Marshall Law Firm have over a century in combined practice defending clients arrested for selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute marijuana, heroin, cocaine and other CDS, including prescription legend drugs. If you have been charged with distribution of drugs/CDS, lawyers certainly have the knowledge to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Contact our Union Township Office for immediate assistance from an attorney with the skill you need and deserve.