In Jackson, New Jersey, anyone caught in possession of drugs may be arrested and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). If charged, you are required to go to court and face prosecution, but the specific court is determined by the degree of the crime in your case. For a disorderly persons offense, for which you can be sentenced to up to 6 months of jail time, you must attend Jackson Township Municipal Court to fight the charges. For an indictable crime for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, with the sentencing backdrop of state prison, you will be required to defend your case in Ocean County Superior Court. The outcome depends on the degree of the drug possession charge, your prior background, the evidence against you, and the skill of your attorney.
Almost everyone knows someone who has done drugs, possesses drugs, or has been caught with drugs. Being arrested for possession of drugs is nothing to be ashamed of, and the best way to deal with it is to hire the right lawyer who knows the law and will stand by you along the way. At Proetta & Oliver, our experienced Jackson NJ drug defense lawyers are dedicated to achieving the top result in your drug possession case. When your life and your future are on the line, we understand the stakes and zealously pursue the outcome that serves your best interests. If you are facing charges for CDS in Jackson Township, call (848) 238-2100 or contact us online now for a free consultation. When you need knowledgeable legal counsel, we’re here to assist you.
Drug Possession/Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in Jackson, New Jersey
Chapter 35 of the New Jersey Criminal Code outlines the myriad of offenses involving controlled dangerous substances that may lead to arrests in Jackson and across the state. The most commonly charged section under this chapter is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 and is known as “possession.” Anyone who actually possesses or constructively possesses a prohibited substance designated on the Drug Schedules will be charged with violating this statute. Often, people are charged with drug possession in the third degree. The drugs that fall within this range are popular street drugs like heroin, meth, cocaine, synthetic marijuana, and MDMA. Possessing prescription drugs like Xanax, fentanyl, Klonopin, Oxycontin, and Vicodin are also illegal to possess without a prescription. Any amount, whether it’s one pill, a half a pill, or residue from an empty bag of heroin, will allow an indictable criminal complaint against you to move forward. An indictable crime is essentially the same thing as a felony, it is just given a unique name in New Jersey. The impacts here and elsewhere are generally the same, in that indictable felony crimes allow judges to send you to state prison upon conviction and you will have a felony conviction on your record.
In addition to the above charges, police can charge you with lower-level indictable fourth degree crimes for possessing synthetic marijuana and some prescriptions, such as small amounts of codeine or morphine. For third and fourth degree crimes you can expect the following:
Fourth Degree Drug Possession Charges:
Up to 18 months in prison
$15,000 discretionary fine
Collection of DNA/fingerprinting for identification in criminal database;
Loss of license up to two years
$750 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty (DEDR)
$155 in mandatory state penalties and a $50 lab fee;
Possible probation for 5 years and/or county jail of 364 days
Conviction on your record
Third Degree Possession of CDS Charges:
3-5 years in state prison
$35,00 in discretionary fines
$1,000 DEDR penalty
$155 in mandatory fines and a $50 lab fee
Probation up to 5 years or a combination of up to 364 days in jail and probation
Loss of license up to two years
Conviction on your record
Disorderly Persons Marijuana Possession Offenses
Not all cases involving drug possession are indictable in nature, particularly those involving possession of marijuana. Almost all drug possession cases involve indictable crimes, except for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana. If you possess less than 50 grams of weed in the Township of Jackson, your case will be heard in Jackson Municipal Court. You face as much as $1,000 in fines, 6 months in jail, $125 in mandatory penalties, probation, and a loss of license ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute in Jackson Township
In New Jersey, there are an assortment of crimes graded from 1st through 4th degree. Aside from disorderly persons offenses, under most circumstances, straight CDS possession charges are either third or fourth degree crimes. Perhaps this is because most people that possess heroin and other drugs are not “drug dealers” in the traditional sense. Alleged dealers theoretically possess larger quantities of drugs because they require an inventory to supply users. For this reason, anyone who possesses larger quantities of drugs may be arrested and charged with drug distribution or possession with intent to distribute under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.
For instance, if you possess heroin in an amount greater than one half ounce but less than 5 ounces, you may be charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute in the second degree. The higher the weight, the higher the level of the charges that may be included in the indictment in your case. In extreme cases, people who possess more than 5 ounces will be charged with first degree crimes in Ocean County, New Jersey.
Charged with Drug Possession in Jackson NJ, Can I get PTI or Conditional Discharge?
In some cases, if you have no prior convictions or have not had similar diversionary programs, you may be eligible for PTI in Ocean County Superior Court or a conditional discharge at the municipal level. These are known as “diversionary” programs, which are designed to take the charges off the trial track and give you an opportunity to keep your record clean by fulfilling certain conditions. Some common conditions are to remain drug free, to get treatment, to remain arrest free, to have random drug testing, and to meet with your probation officer during a specified number of months or years. If successful, the charges will be dismissed. Be aware that even if you are not eligible for these programs, there are resolutions that can be carefully devised to fit your needs.
Contact a Jackson NJ Drug Defense Attorney Near You
While, to some degree, you are at the mercy of the court when charged with drugs in Jackson, New Jersey, there are things you can do to combat the overall fall-out from such charges and you may have more defense options than you realize. Our distinguished Jackson drug possession attorneys have extensive experience handling these cases and we can help get you on the track, assess your options, and lead the way for the most favorable outcome. If you want to know more about what happens next and what can be done to have your case dismissed, contact us at (848) 238-2100 today. Our lawyers are available immediately to provide you with a free consultation.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.