Point Pleasant is a popular beach town for anyone in search of fun, sun, surf and a lively atmosphere. Because of its easy accessibility, prime location, and energetic atmosphere, this is a common vacation spot for people looking to unwind on the weekends and recreate while the weather is nice. For instance, Jenkinson’s mile-long boardwalk has something for everyone, from amusement rides to restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, with the increase in patrolling police during summer months, many people are arrested and charged with drug possession and being under the influence of drugs in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. If you have been charged with a drug offense under N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-10 in Point Pleasant, Proetta & Oliver can help. With local offices in Point Pleasant, our attorneys regularly defend clients charged with possession of controlled dangerous substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, Molly, Xanax, and Oxycontin in Point Pleasant Municipal Court and Ocean County Superior Court. To discuss your drug possession case in Point Pleasant NJ with an experienced defense lawyer, simply call (848) 238-2100 or contact us online for a free consultation today.
Charged with Drug Possession in Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Any crime in New Jersey has a corresponding law that outlines the nature of the offense. For drug possession charges, the law is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, which sets forth the standard that the state must follow in prosecuting you for possessing drugs. Specifically, it is an offense to purposely or knowingly, actually or constructively, possess or obtain a controlled dangerous substance in Point Pleasant and elsewhere in New Jersey. A controlled dangerous substance is a substance listed on one of the NJ Drug Schedules. Specifically, Drug Schedules I, II, III, and IV list substances and their analogs (chemical structures) that you cannot possess by law in some manner or another. Some substances cannot ever be possessed, as they are illegal in any quantity. Others can be possessed lawfully, namely prescription drugs, but only with a valid prescription and while in their proper container.
Additionally, this provision of the New Jersey Criminal Code makes it illegal to be under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance. For example, often a person is questioned by police, and they appear to be high, but police do not find any substances in their possession or located in the vicinity. Nevertheless, officers may charge you with “being under the influence of drugs” if certain factors are met. In court, to be convicted of being under the influence of CDS, prosecutors must prove that you showed “physical and physiological symptoms or reactions” because you were under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance. This can be demonstrated by your behavior and the circumstances surrounding your arrest, such as the presence of a pipe, baggies, or drug paraphernalia, as well as statements you may have made, your demeanor, and your physical appearance.
Lastly, under N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-10, there is an offense commonly referred to as “failure to turnover” that you can be charged with if you possess a controlled substance and do not turn it into the police. This section does not appear to make much sense to the average person, but it is commonly used as a means by which to resolve a case involving a more serious indictable drug possession offense.
The offenses under this section are either charged as indictable crimes (felonies) or disorderly persons offense (misdemeanors). No matter which level of drug possession offense you are charged with, your appearance in court is required and you face serious penal consequences if convicted.
What Degree is Possession of CDS in Point Pleasant NJ?
For those arrested for drugs in Point Pleasant, the degree of the charge depends upon the type and quantity of the drug possessed. Unlike quieter beach towns such as Ocean Grove or Spring Lake, people often come to Point Pleasant to party. Commonly, college students flock here during summer break just to kick back and relax, drink, get high, and generally imbibe with friends. Drug possession and use is not exclusive to young people either, as countless adults find themselves facing charges for possession of CDS in Point Pleasant every year. Unfortunately, young and old, many people are caught with drugs that result in a complaints for indictable crimes.
Third Degree Controlled Dangerous Substance Charge in Point Pleasant
Among common drugs involved in possession cases, Molly/MDMA/Ecstasy, Heroin, and Cocaine, if possessed, are all generally third degree indictable crimes. You cannot legally possess these substances in any amount, as they are entirely outlawed in New Jersey. In most cases, a person has a very small amount of the substance and may be left wondering how they can be charged based on such a minimal quantity. The reality is that any amount of cocaine, heroin, or MDMA, no matter how small, is an automatic third degree crime. There are other drugs that people may possess subjecting them to third degree criminal complaints as well. For example, Oxycontin, Adderall, Meth, Xanax, Ativan, and codeine are also commonly possessed and charged as third degree crimes. In more rare cases, a person may possess a larger quantity and can be charged with a second degree crime. However, most drug possession complaints filed in the Superior Court are likely for third degree crimes.
If you have been charged with a third degree crime for possession of a controlled substance in Point Pleasant, you will be required to attend Ocean County Superior Court for a First Appearance. Ultimately, if convicted, you may be sent to state prison for 3-5 years, pay $35,000 in fines, pay a mandatory $1,000 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty, lose your license for 6 to 2 years, and/or be placed on probation for up to 5 years.
Facing Fourth Degree Drug Possession Charges in Point Pleasant
Some offenses, such as marijuana possession greater than 50 grams, marijuana oil or synthetic marijuana (K-2, Spice), and Tylenol with codeine, are charged as fourth degree indictable offenses. If convicted of possessing these drugs, depending on the substance, you could be ordered to serve time in state prison for 12 to 18 months, and be ordered to pay a $750 drug penalty in addition to other fines. Even more concerning is the fact that you will have a criminal conviction on your record.
Point Pleasant Disorderly Persons Offense for N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-10
Despite the vast majority of drug possession cases involving felony offenses, there are many that are charged as disorderly persons offenses. A disorderly persons offense is not considered a crime in the typical sense, but it will nonetheless be on your record if convicted. Disorderly persons offenses (also known as misdemeanors) are heard in Point Pleasant Municipal Court located at 2233 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, NJ 08742. Perhaps the most commonly charged disorderly persons drug offense seen in municipal court is possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana. It does not matter whether you were caught with a little bit left in your bowl, a dime bag, or a tiny roach, you may be arrested for drug possession. If found guilty, you face up to 6 months in jail, a $1,000 fine, probation, a loss of license from 6 to 24 months, and a mandatory $500 drug penalty.
Of course, disorderly persons drug offenses are not limited to marijuana. For example, failing to turn over drugs to police, possessing a prescription drug not in the proper container, as well being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, are disorderly persons offenses. Possession of drug paraphernalia is yet another common offense charged in addition to drug possession.
Point Pleasant Drug Possession Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, seeking the advice of counsel and having experienced representation for your drug charges is essential. Many times, people do not understand the severity of the charges and the effects that a drug possession conviction can have upon their lives. Often, defendants charged with drug offenses are college students or high school students. It is imperative to understand that a drug charge can result in a loss of student loans and the addition of a conviction on your criminal record, which will bear upon employability after graduation. Do not go it alone. Choose to fight your case with the help of our skilled Point Pleasant drug possession lawyers. To find out more, contact our local office today at (848) 238-2100 for 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.