Intent to Distribute Cocaine Defense Attorneys in Ocean County, New Jersey
When it comes to prosecuting cocaine distribution and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, New Jersey has enacted laws and statutes that demonstrate the state’s aggressive stance against those charged for cocaine on both the state and federal levels. A conviction for the distribution of or intent to distribute cocaine is accompanied by the very real possibility of incarceration in state prison. This is true even for a first time offender. Other penalties include probation, in-patient drug counseling, mandatory community service, loss of driving privileges, and thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, if the offense took place within a School Zone or within 500 feet of a Public Park or Housing, the penalties will increase significantly.
An experienced criminal defense attorney, if involved in your case early on, can greatly increase your chances of having charges downgraded, securing admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention, or admission into Drug Court to avoid jail and even a criminal record. Our firm dedicates a large percentage of its practice to the exclusive representation of serious criminal and municipal cases including cocaine distribution throughout Ocean County and New Jersey, including Toms River, Manchester, Barnegat, Berkeley Township, Manahawkin, Lanoka Harbor, Bay Head, and Seaside. To speak with an Ocean County cocaine distribution lawyer about the circumstances and details of your case then please give our Toms River office a call at (848) 238-2100.
Cocaine Distribution in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
The New Jersey statute for cocaine distribution and intent to distribute is listed below, in pertinent part, for your convenience.
2C:35-5. Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing
a. [I]t shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:
(1) To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, [cocaine]…or (2) To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit [cocaine].
b. Any person who violates subsection a. with respect to:
(1) [Cocaine]… in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the first degree. The defendant shall, except as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-12, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed;
(2) A substance referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces, including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;
(3) A substance referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection in a quantity less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed;
c. Where the degree of the offense for violation of this section depends on the quantity of the substance, the quantity involved shall be determined by the trier of fact. Where the indictment or accusation so provides, the quantity involved in individual acts of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, whether distribution or dispensing is to the same person or several persons, provided that each individual act of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to distribute was committed within the applicable statute of limitations.
Degrees and Penalties for NJ Cocaine Charges
As mentioned above, the degree of a cocaine charge is contingent upon the measured weight of the substance involved in the alleged offense. The following are the specifications for grading New Jersey cocaine distribution offenses:
First Degree Cocaine Distribution
5 ounces or more of cocaine
10 – 20 years state prison; presumption of incarceration
Second Degree Cocaine Distribution
½ ounce – less than 5 ounces of cocaine
5 – 10 years state prison; presumption of incarceration
Third Degree Cocaine Distribution
Less than ½ ounce of cocaine
3 – 5 years of state prison
Consult with a Jackson Township NJ Cocaine Distribution Lawyer
Charges for distribution of and intent to distribute cocaine or crack are very serious and very often complicated because of the various suppression issues that arise. These are issues that are best litigated by an experienced criminal lawyer and include the ability to file and argue issues such as an illegal stop due to the lack of probable cause, unconstitutional searches and seizures of drugs, insufficient Miranda warnings, and improper handling and testing of suspected drugs. As founding attorney, William A. Proetta, Esq., has handled a wide array of Superior Court and Municipal Court cases. Many of these have involved cocaine and drug distribution charges. We handle cocaine distribution cases throughout Ocean County and New Jersey including Tuckerton, Island Heights, Lakewood, Stafford Township, and New Egypt. If you would like a free consultation with a cocaine distribution attorney then contact our office at (848) 238-2100.