Attorneys Defending Methamphetamine Possession & Distribution in Ocean County, NJ
Methamphetamine use can not only have an adverse impact on your health, but can get you into serious trouble with the law. Meth is a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance, as classified in the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. In New Jersey, police and prosecutors state-wide treat the possession and distribution of methamphetamine very seriously. If you have been charged with possession of methamphetamine or intent to distribute meth, it is time to seek knowledgeable legal counsel. Our experienced drug defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can explain what it means to be charged with a meth offense and discuss your potential defense options. From our local office in Point Pleasant, we have been defending clients facing drug charges in Toms River, Lavallette, Seaside Heights, Brick, Manchester, Lacey Township, and throughout Ocean County, New Jersey, for years. For additional information about how we can help you with your drug case, contact us at (848) 238-2100. An attorney is always available to provide you with a free consultation.
What a Schedule II Drug Means in New Jersey
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance (CDS), according to the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. This statute classifies both legal and illegal drugs as “schedule” narcotics, with higher schedule drugs facing stricter regulations by the government due to their high potential for abuse and the significant health risks they pose. Not surprisingly, meth is classified as one of the highest schedule drugs because it is considered highly addictive, it often leads to withdrawal symptoms, it has a high potential for abuse, and it can cause overdose deaths when abused. The higher schedule for meth has implications for anyone charged with methamphetamine possession or distribution in New Jersey.
Possession of Methamphetamine in NJ
According to section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, it is illegal to possess any amount of methamphetamine. Possessing less than half of an ounce of meth is a third degree indictable offense, carrying a potential sentence of up to 5 years in prison, fines of up to $75,000, loss of your driver’s license and mandatory drug treatment. If you are charged with possessing meth within 1000 feet of a school property, you will be required to serve 100 hours of community service in additional to the aforementioned punishments.
One option that may be available to individuals charged with simple possession of methamphetamine is Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). Participation in the PTI Program allows you to avoid serving jail time and instead, to serve a period of probation with certain conditions for one to three years. You are only eligible to participate in PTI if you have never participated in a diversionary program before, you are a New Jersey resident, you have not previously pled guilty to an indictable offense, and you have not been charged with intent to distribute methamphetamine. If you are allowed to participate in PTI after being charged with possession of methamphetamine, you will likely be required to submit to random drug testing and may be required to receive counseling as part of the terms of your probation. Our criminal defense attorneys can help determine if you are eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention and if so, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf for this option. Once you complete PTI, the charges against you are dismissed.
NJ Methamphetamine Distribution Charges
It is a second degree indictable offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 to possess between one half of an ounce and 5 ounces of meth with intent to distribute. If convicted, you may face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000. If you are convicted of possessing more than 5 ounces of methamphetamine with intent to distribute—a first degree indictable offense—the potential penalties increase to up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $500,000.
Methamphetamine, or “meth,” is a drug that affects the user’s central nervous system. Commonly known as meth, ice, speed, crank, and chalk, methamphetamine is a stimulant that is typically consumed in powder form by inhaling, smoking, snorting, or injecting powder dissolved in water or alcohol, or taking the drug in pill form. The chemical effect of methamphetamine on the brain is to increase the amount of natural dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for reinforcing rewarding behaviors and taking meth creates a state of euphoria for up to 12 hours.
Using methamphetamine can cause serious short term and long term side effects. In the short term, users may experience rapid and irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure. In the event of an overdose, a person may experience convulsions and hyperthermia. These side effects can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Seaside Heights NJ Meth Defense Lawyer
If you are facing criminal charges for possession or intent to distribute methamphetamine in Ocean County or elsewhere in New Jersey, it is crucial that you obtain the representation of a qualified and experienced drug defense lawyer right away. The beginning stages of your criminal case provide crucial opportunities for your lawyer to help you gain admission into a diversionary program, work out a deal with the prosecutor, or challenge the admission of evidence against you. The attorneys at our local Ocean County criminal defense law firm are ready to review your case, strategize your best defense, and fight for your rights. Call us 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.