Scotch Plains NJ Drug Possession Attorney
Possession of CDS in Scotch Plains New Jersey
The Scotch Plains Police make traffic stops all the time that lead to the driver or occupants of the vehicle being charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin or other drugs. Two recent newspaper articles revealed this very scenario in Scotch Plains New Jersey with individuals being arrested for possession of prescription legend drugs (Xanax and Percocet) and cocaine. It is not uncommon to have a routine stop for speeding or another alleged violation to end up in a drug/CDS possession offense. If you are facing a Scotch Plains drug possession charge, you need to retain a qualified drug possession attorney to represent you in court. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our lawyers provide top-notch representation utilizing over a century of experience defending CDS possession charges throughout Union County. A lawyer who has handled many drug cases arising in municipalities like Scotch Plains, is ready to help you get the best outcome in your case. Call us for a free consultation at 908-272-1700 with one of our attorneys.
Scotch Plains Drug Possession Charge
It is illegal under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 for any person to knowingly possess a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) in Scotch Plains that was not legally prescribed. The headings that follow summarize some of the more important aspects of this law for those who are facing a Scotch Plains drug possession charge.
- How Is Possession Defined. New Jersey law determines that you “possess” something if you have that item on your person, and you are aware that it is on your person. That type of possession is called actual possession. New Jersey law also considers you to be in possession of something if you have control over it, but it is not on your person. That second type of possession is called constructive possession. (A good example of constructive possession is when you have an item in your car. The item is not on your person, but you have control over it.) The drug possession statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 makes both actual and constructive possession of a CDS illegal.
- When Does Someone Possess Drugs Knowingly? The drug possession statute also requires that you knowingly possess an illegal CDS in order to be guilty of drug possession. A court will find that you acted knowingly if you are aware that you possess a CDS. Knowledge is a state of mind and cannot be seen. So, the prosecution must prove knowledge through inferences from conduct, words, or actions.
- Drugs/CDS That Are Covered. The drug possession statute provides a list of the drugs that are illegal to possess without a prescription. Some of the more common forms of CDS covered include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA (e.g. Molly and Ecstasy), Methamphetamine (crystal meth), GHB, LSD, PCP, and prescription legend drugs like OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Adderall and Xanax.
- Penalties for Drug Possession. Penalties vary depending upon the type and amount of drugs in your possession. You can be charged with a third degree crime, fourth degree crime or disorderly persons offense for personal possession of CDS. Here is a quick breakdown of some of the most common offenses and the resulting penalties: (1) possession of cocaine, heroin, MDMA and methamphetamine is a third degree crime which can result in 3 to 5 years imprisonment and a $35,000 fine; (2) possessing more than 50 grams of marijuana, a Schedule V drug or 5 or more dosage units of a prescription drug is a fourth degree crime resulting in up to 18 months imprisonment and a $25,000 fine ($10,000 for prescription drugs); and (3) Possessing 50 grams or less of marijuana, or 4 or less dosage units of a prescription drug, is a disorderly persons offense, which could result in up to 6 months imprisonment, and a $1,000 fine.
- Jurisdiction Over Your Possession Case. Disorderly persons offenses are handled in Scotch Plains Municipal Court. A charge involving a third degree or fourth degree crime must be heard at the Superior Court in Elizabeth.
Defenses to a Scotch Plains CDS Possession Offense
There are many ways in which you can challenge a drug possession charge. Your attorney will review the facts of your case and provide an assessment of what defenses would be most advantageous to raise. Because drug possession arrests occur either on the street, or as a result of a car stop, some of the common defenses include:
- Police searching a car without probable cause.
- Police conducting a stop and frisk without reasonable suspicion.
- Irregularities in testing of the alleged CDS.
- You were not in actual or constructive possession of the CDS.
- Police failed to inform you that you could refuse consent to a search.
- Police had no probable cause to arrest you.
Scotch Plains CDS Possession Defense Lawyer
CDS possession charges can have a serious impact on your job and your life. Call us at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall to get help from a defense lawyer so that negative consequences can be avoided. Our attorneys have successfully helped clients get a possession offense downgraded or even dismissed. Let us use our extensive experience as prosecutors and accomplished criminal lawyers to secure the very best result in your case for possessing drugs/CDS in Scotch Plains. An attorney is available immediately to assist you at 908-272-1700.
Additional Scotch Plains Drug & CDS Possession Resources