Scotch Plains NJ Cocaine Attorney
Cocaine Possession Offense in Scotch Plains New Jersey
Recently, Scotch Plains police executed a search warrant of a private home and found $64,000 worth of cocaine, heroin, and Ecstasy/MDMA (Molly) in the house. The owners of the home were charged with possession of the drugs, and also charged with possession with the intent to distribute them. The case garnered some media attention because of the amount of drugs involved, and the fact that guns were also found in the house. Yet, many cocaine possession cases are not so sensational. Within the last month, a Scotch Plains man was arrested for cocaine possession after being stopped for speeding. Police searched his car and subsequently arrested him on the drug charges. In fact, routine car stops for minor infractions frequently lead to drug possession arrests. If you have been arrested for possession of cocaine, you need a seasoned drug possession attorney to handle your case. We are The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. With several former prosecutors on our staff, we have the experience to specialize in cocaine possession cases. We will zealously represent you in court and ensure that every relevant constitutional issue will be explored to help downgrade your charges, or get the case dismissed. Call us at 908-272-1700. We are here 24/7 to help you, and the first consultation is free.
Scotch Plains Cocaine Possession Charge
In order for the State to prove a Scotch Plains cocaine possession charge under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, the prosecutor must establish that:
- The drugs seized by the Scotch Plains Police were cocaine;
- The cocaine was actually or constructively possessed by the accused; and
- The defendant knew he was in possession of cocaine.
Actual or Constructive Possession. Actual possession means that the cocaine is on someone’s person. Constructive possession means that a person has control over the cocaine, even though it is not on his person. For example, if person A is holding cocaine for person B, person A is in actual possession, and person B is in constructive possession because B can tell A to give him the cocaine at any time. A conviction for a Scotch Plains CDS possession offense may be secured if either form of possession exists.
Cocaine Possession Penalties. Possession of cocaine is typically charged as a Third-Degree Crime, which carries a potential 3 to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $35,000 fine. However, if someone is found in possession of more than ½ ounce of cocaine, then the police may charge that person with possession and possession with the intent to distribute. That second charge carries more severe penalties.
In addition, penalties may increase for someone convicted of cocaine possession if that person was also within 1000 feet of school property, or within 500 feet of public housing or a public park, at the time he was in possession of cocaine. Your attorney can give you more information with regard to the consequences of those additional factors.
Possible Defenses to Possession of Cocaine. A brief look at the local crime reports reveals that many drug arrests arise from motor vehicle stops in Scotch Plains and the surrounding area. That means that police seem to be either finding probable cause to search cars during a routine traffic stop, or police are asking for consent from the driver during a stop. Those types of searches implicate the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.
Accordingly, if you have been arrested for cocaine possession following a car stop, your attorney will likely consider whether your 4th Amendment rights were violated. In other words, your attorney will explore whether the police failed to tell you that you can refuse consent when they asked to search your vehicle. Similarly, your attorney will look into whether the police actually had the proper legal cause to search your vehicle if they did not ask for consent. The attorneys at the Marshall Defense Firm are adept at challenging the legality of police searches because they have years of experience handling cocaine possession cases.
Scotch Plains Cocaine Distribution Charges. When the Scotch Plains offense involves manufacturing, selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute, the operative law is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. Distribution of over 5 ounces of cocaine is a first degree crime, one-half to 5 ounces is a second degree crime and less than one-half ounce is a third degree crime. There are hefty state prison terms that attach to every grade of cocaine distribution and the penalties only get worse if the conduct occurs in a school zone or public park zone. A savvy attorney is an absolute must if you have been charged with distribution of cocaine in Scotch Plains or any other Union County municipality.
Scotch Plains Cocaine Possession Lawyers
If you are facing a cocaine offense in Scotch Plains, including a possession charge, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced lawyer to aggressively advocate on your behalf. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have collectively over 100 years of experience representing people facing cocaine possession charges, as well as distribution of CDS. Call our Union Township office today at 908-272-1700 for a no obligation consultation with an attorney. Attorneys are accessible around the clock to give you the help you need.
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