Westfield NJ Cocaine Possession Attorney
Possession of Cocaine in the Town of Westfield
Many cases of CDS possession in Westfield New Jersey involve the drug cocaine. There has been a resurgence of both powder and crack cocaine and Westfield certainly has its share of individuals arrested for possessing the drug. If you were charged with cocaine possession or even distribution of this CDS in the Town, you are facing serious penalties that clearly have the potential to change the direction of your life. Hiring a skilled attorney to defend the charge can protect you from the negative consequences of a conviction. We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall and our lawyers have over 100 years of experience in the defense of both possession and distribution of cocaine. As former prosecutors, the attorneys on our staff know how to mount an effective defense, challenging any search and seizure violations, lab result irregularities, or any other issues. For a free consultation with a lawyer immediately, call 908-272-1700.
Cocaine Possession Offense in Westfield New Jersey
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 is the statute that makes cocaine possession illegal. The statute states that it is unlawful for any person to actually or constructively possess cocaine.
What are the elements the State must prove? In order for a prosecutor to prove that you illegally possessed cocaine, the prosecutor must prove that: (1) the substance in question was cocaine; (2) the accused had cocaine in his actual or constructive possession; and (3) his/her conduct was knowing.
What is the difference between active and constructive possession? Actual possession is when someone has something on his person. Constructive possession is when a person has the ability and intent to exercise control over something, but does not have it on his person. A classic example of constructively possessing something is having something in your car – the object is not on your person, but you still have control over it.
What could my sentence be if I’m convicted of cocaine possession? Cocaine possession is usually charged as a third-degree crime. That means that the possible sentence could be 3 to 5 years in prison, and a fine of up to $35,000.
The situation is entirely different when possession is with intent to distribute (i.e to sell or engage in distribution of cocaine). The penalties in this setting start at a third degree crime but can escalate all the way to a first degree crime where someone is facing 20 years in prison. You should also know that you are exposed to even worse charges if you were distributing/selling cocaine in a school zone or public park zone. For more information on this subject, refer to a our cocaine distribution page.
I have been charged with possession of cocaine in Westfield, what can I do? The first step you should take in the face of a cocaine possession charge is to get a lawyer. You can’t go it alone. You need an expert cocaine possession lawyer to help you through the process. After you have retained counsel, you should never discuss your case with law enforcement unless your lawyer is present. You should also be sure to give your lawyer as detailed an account as possible regarding what happened that led to the possession charge. The more information your lawyer has, the better defense your lawyer can provide for you.
Westfield Cocaine Defense Lawyer
A charge of cocaine possession is no trivial matter. As explained above, a conviction for possessing cocaine in Westfield or another location in NJ can lead to up to 5 years in prison. The best thing you can do for your case is hire a qualified cocaine defense lawyer. The attorneys at the Marshall Firm have the know-how to help you avoid the most consequences of a charge for possession or even distribution of cocaine. We will fight on your behalf so that the offense does not threaten your livelihood and future. The firm’s lawyers, having handled hundreds of cocaine cases, know what strategies to use to try to have your charges downgraded or dropped entirely. Call our office today at 908-272-1700 to speak to an attorney with the tools to succeed on your behalf.