Elizabeth NJ Heroin Distribution Defense Attorney
Heroin was once a drug of the past but has unfortunately undergone a revival throughout Union County. While locations like Elizabeth and Plainfield, have recently received considerable attention because of significant arrests involving distribution of heroin, usage is a huge problem almost everywhere in the county, even in affluent towns like Scotch Plains, Cranford and Westfield. Police have always believed that the most effective way to fight this problem is to attack it at its root by eliminating those who distribute drugs. They engage in all sorts of strategies to identify and arrest individuals who manufacture, sell or distribute heroin although their tactics aren’t always consistent with law (e.g. search of car, house or apartment did not comply with constitutional procedure). And even when a search and seizure is proper, there are certainly instances where someone is charged with intent to distribute when the circumstances only warranted a possession of heroin offense.
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our lawyers can help you even the playing field if you are facing a heroin distribution charge. We are former prosecutors and highly seasoned defense attorneys with over 100 years of collective experience. Our lawyers know their way around the courthouse in Elizabeth, as well as the prosecutors office, and are ready to formulate a strategy to achieve the best result in your case. Call us 24/7 at 908-272-1700 to discuss your charge or to schedule a consultation in our Union Township Office.
Possession With Intent to Distribute Heroin Charges Under New Jersey Law
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 makes it illegal to knowingly or purposely manufacture, distribute or dispense heroin. This law extends not only to instances where there is actual physical possession of this form of controlled dangerous substance (“cds”) but also where someone has constructive possession. This occurs when the accused is aware of the presence of the heroin and has the ability and desire to sell/distribute it in the future.
Grading of Heroin Distribution Charges. The severity of the penalties for distribution hinge on the weight/quantity of heroin being sold. A violation involving less than one-half ounce is a third degree crime. One-half ounce but less than five (5) ounces is a second degree crime. If the distribution or intent to distribute involves five (5) ounces or more, it is a first degree crime.
Penalties For Distributing/Selling Heroin. The maximum fine that may be imposed for distributing heroin is $75,000, $150,000 and $500,000 for a third degree, second degree and first degree heroin distribution, respectively. The jail exposure is five (5) years, ten (10) years and twenty (20) years. There is a period of parole ineligibility that applies under 2C:35-5 in all first degree cases. The minimum term that must be served in state prison in this instances is fixed at between one-half and one-third of the full sentenced imposed. A defendant cannot be considered for parole until the minimum term is served.
School Zone & Public Park Offenses. The grading and penalties for selling heroin are enhanced when there is distribution in a school zone or possession with intent in a public park. An attorney who is skilled in defending complex drug cases of this nature is imperative in our judgment as selling heroin in these protected areas is viewed very unfavorably by both prosecutors and judges.
Union NJ Distribution of Heroin Lawyers
When there exists a legal or factual issue concerning whether a search, arrest or seizure is in conformity with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment, a motion to suppress the heroin may be filed. Failure by the police to adhere to proper protocol under the law, for example, not obtaining a warrant when they should have, can result in the evidence being unusable by the state. This is what is termed suppression and this typically results in the dismissal of the underlying distribution charge. The attorneys at our Union NJ firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, are well versed in the search and seizure laws, as well as the warrant requirements in New Jersey, especially when it comes to automobile, residence or person searches. If you we subjected to an unreasonable search in Linden, Roselle, Union, Roselle Park, Rahway or another local town, an attorney on our staff will challenge the use of the cds in the case against you and, if successful, obtain a dismissal of your heroin distribution offense. Call our lawyers at 908-272-1700 to discuss the details of how we can help you avoid a conviction.