Jersey City Drug Attorney
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New Jersey has a complicated scheme for penalizing the possession, use, and distribution of drugs or “controlled dangerous substances” (CDS). Drug charges are not only based on the type of CDS involved, but also on the amount of the substance found. Depending on the charges, conviction may result in lengthy incarceration and significant fines, among other penalties.
If you are facing drug charges, Bhatt Law Group can help. Our firm has experienced criminal defense attorneys who have helped countless people with criminal cases. Don’t hesitate to call us at (201) 798-8000 for a free initial consultation so we can begin taking steps to protect your rights.
Common drug charges in New Jersey involve the possession of CDS. These offenses include:
- Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana – This is considered a disorderly persons offense, which exposes you to 6 months of incarceration, a fine not exceeding $1,000, and driver’s license suspension of up to 6 months.
- Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or possession of non-marijuana related CDS – New Jersey law classifies these as indictable offenses with potential incarceration of up to 5 years and fines not exceeding $35,000.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia – This is considered a disorderly persons offense with penalties similar to those of a small amount of marijuana.
Manufacturing and Distribution Charges
Serious drug offenses in New Jersey are those that involve the manufacturing, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute CDS. These are usually considered indictable offenses with greater penalties. Similar to possession charges, manufacturing and distribution charges also depend on the amount of the substance involved. Additionally, the location of the arrest may also result in more severe penalties. If you were arrested within 500 feet of a housing project or public park, or within 1,000 feet of a school, you may face enhanced penalties even if you didn’t know you were located near these places.
The amount of the substance and the corresponding charge varies depending on the type of substance involved. For example, manufacturing or distributing marijuana weighing less than an ounce would be considered a fourth-degree offense, but if the CDS is heroin or cocaine, quantities of less than half an ounce may result in a third-degree offense. With marijuana, these charges will only result in a first-degree charge if the quantity is more than 25 pounds, but with heroin or cocaine, manufacturing or distributing more than five ounces would be enough for a first-degree offense.
Possible Defenses to Drug Charges
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine whether you have any viable defenses to the drug charges you are facing. These defenses may include:
- Lack of probable cause for the initial stop and/or arrest
- Whether the search or seizure was legal
- Whether the police satisfied the requirements for a search warrant
- Whether the police satisfied chain of custody for any evidence that they seized when you were arrested
- Whether the police lab properly administered tests
Bhatt Law Group has a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys who have decades of combined experience defending people in New Jersey. We will analyze every aspect of your case and invoke all potential defenses that are available.
Call us immediately at (201) 798-8000 so we can help you mount an effective defense from the beginning of your case.