Plainfield NJ Cocaine Possession Lawyer
Cocaine Charges in Plainfield New Jersey
Cocaine possession and distribution is a growing problem for law enforcement agencies including the Plainfield Police Department. There are, in fact, many individuals arrested in Plainfield New Jersey on crack and powder cocaine charges every year. The result has been more aggressive targeting of those who sell or possess this controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”). If you were charged for possessing cocaine or, even worse, distribution of the drug, you had better retain a seasoned Plainfield Drug Possession Attorney immediately. You are facing the potential for years in since and nothing short of a highly skilled criminal lawyer will suffice if you want to present your most effective defense to the offense you are facing.
The respected defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have more than 100 years of combined experience defending CDS charges at the Union County Superior Court. This is the place where all cocaine offenses are process whether the related charge stems from personal possession or intent to distribute. Our attorneys have been litigating cocaine cases at the county courthouse in Elizabeth for decades and are committed to providing an aggressive and skilled defense. If you have been arrested or are under investigation for cocaine possession or are the subject of a complaint or indictment for selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute, your first call should be to us at (908) 272-1700.
Plainfield Possession & Distribution of Cocaine Offenses
It is a crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 to purposely or knowingly possess cocaine in Plainfield NJ. Police can even charge you with possession of cocaine if you do not have physical possession of the drug under the legal principle of constructive possession. All that is required is that you are aware of the presence of the cocaine and have the intent to take possession of it in the future. If police find cocaine in a vehicle during a checkpoint or routine traffic stop, the driver and any passengers in the vehicle can be charged with cocaine possession. Prosecutors can obtain a conviction by producing evidence proving the occupants had knowledge of the presence of cocaine in the vehicle and had the intent and ability to exercise future control over it.
The situation is significantly more complicated when someone is charged with distribution of cocaine in Plainfield. The primary reason is because N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 imposes extreme consequences when someone is convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine or for selling the drug.
Our skilled defense attorneys use the facts and circumstances of each case to develop an effective defense strategy, including challenges to the manner in which conducted searches leading to seizure of evidence. Unless police strictly complied with constitutional safeguards against unlawful searches and seizures contained in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a judge could refuse to allow prosecutors to use it to prove guilt.
Penalties Imposed for a Plainfield Cocaine Offense
Possession of cocaine is an indictable crime of the third degree and the equivalent to what is termed a “felony” in other states. Penalties include a fine that can reach $35,000 and imprisonment for up to five years. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for a minimum period of six months and as long as 24 months. If police arrest you for possessing cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school zone, your sentence will also require that you perform a minimum of 100 hours of community service.
Distribution of cocaine can result in a third degree, second degree or first degree crime depending on the quantity sold or possessed with intent of selling. It is a first degree crime to engage in distribution of 5 ounces or more of cocaine, a second degree crime if the amount is at least one-half ounce but less than 5 and a third degree crime where the weight is under one-half ounce. The fine and prison term for each grade are $500,000 and 10-20 years for a first degree, $150,000 and 5-10 years for a second degree and $75,000 and 3-5 years for a third degree.
A conviction for a cocaine offense can be avoided if you gain admission into Pretrial Intervention. The guidelines for obtaining this relief are stringent so you are best served contacting a skilled criminal attorney to insure that you secure this relief.
Plainfield NJ Cocaine Defense Attorney
Even after the completion of a sentence a cocaine offense, a pre-employment background check will reveal your criminal record as a convicted felon, and many employers will choose other applicants for a position before offering a job to someone with drug conviction. Fighting your cocaine possession charge or distribution offense is the most effective way to avoid ramifications like this and a skilled defense attorney is the greatest tool at your disposal in this regard. Here at the Marshall Criminal Defense Firm, our attorneys offer aggressive representation making use of all available legal defenses. If you have been charged with distributing cocaine in Plainfield or even just possessing a small quantity for personal consumption, you need a savvy lawyer at your side in order to maximize the chances of avoiding a conviction. Lawyers on our staff are standing ready to assist you in this capacity and can be reached immediately by calling (908) 272-1700.
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