East Brunswick NJ Drug Possession Lawyer
Possession of a drugs (a.k.a. controlled dangerous substances) is a criminal offense that is common in East Brunswick Township. A primary reason for the prevalence of drug possession charges stems from the lack of appreciation that whether we like it or not some substances are illegal. The best example might be marijuana but the same thinking is often also utilized by users when it comes to CDS like MDMA, Molly, Cocaine and even heroin. Regardless of how you go here, however, chances are that you were arrested for some form of drug possession if you have landed on this page. The biggest thing you cannot afford to do is take this charge too lightly, especially if the offense involves drug distribution. Each and every possession offense carries a criminal record and driver’s license suspension of 6 months in New Jersey. The ramifications are overwhelming much worse since possession of virtually all drugs except weed result in indictable felony charges of the third degree. All CDS possession charges must therefore be approached with seriousness and appreciation of the benefit that an experienced attorney can provide. Our East Brunswick drug possession defense firm has been fighting drug charges like yours for decades and includes several former prosecutors who know the ins and outs of the court system like the back of their hands. If you are faced with drug possession at the Middlesex County Superior Court or even in East Brunswick Municipal Court, we are nicely qualified to handle your case. Call our East Brunswick Law Office now at 732-227-1200 for an immediate free consultation.
Drug Possession Charges in East Brunswick Township
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, “It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice.” A controlled dangerous substances for the purposes of this statute means all drugs listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V, as well as those drugs listed specifically in the statute (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.). There are a lot more things, though, that can be said to break down this statute into more intelligible elements. The first thing that can be said relates to the state of mind of the offense. Possession must be done knowingly or purposely. What this means is that mere recklessness or negligence are not sufficient for the state to uphold a conviction. A classic example that can better illustrate the state of mind requirement is the example of a person who seeks to buy sugar, but ends up with cocaine. This person, while technically speaking being in actual possession of a controlled dangerous substance, cocaine, will not be liable, because they did not knowingly or purposely seek to obtain or possess the drug. This raises a question about what it means to actually or constructively possess a CDS. Actual possession is a pretty straightforward concept. If at the time of the arrest the officer is able to physically find a CDS on you, that is actual possession. Constructive possession, however, is slightly less straightforward. What essentially the legal term of art means is that from the circumstances in which the CDS was found, the state can say that you had the requisite state of mind to possess or obtain CDS. For an obvious, straightforward example, constructive possession may be proved in circumstances where police see drugs in your car. While technically not on your person, the state can say that you exercised some control over the drugs such that you should be liable. One last thing worth mentioning here is the place of prescription drugs in possession of CDS charges. An affirmative defense to any charge of possession of CDS for a prescription legend drug is that you actually were prescribed that drug by a doctor while they were acting in the course of their professional practice. If you can show this then it is not illegal to possess a large number of prescription drugs, including many that people are commonly charged with possession of CDS for, such as oxycodone, percocet, vicodin, xanax, etc.
Penalties for Possessing Drugs & CDS
If the state can show the requisite state of mind and actual or constructive possession of an illegal drug/CDS, then this violation is typically a third degree crime. What this means is that you are subject to a fine of up to $35,000 and between 3 and 5 years of incarceration in one of New Jersey’s state prisons. As previously stated, you will also have a felony criminal record and face a mandatory driver’s license suspension. The period of revocation can range from six (6) months all the way up to twenty-four (24) months if you are convicted of possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. All of these penalties are further enhanced if the conduct involved possession with intent in a school zone or within 500 feet of a public park.
Possession Charge Defense Attorneys, East Brunswick NJ
This information, while certainly terrifying, is not meant to scare you, but rather to impress upon you the importance of obtaining the best legal counsel that you can afford. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against possession of CDS charges in East Brunswick. As former prosecutors themselves, our team knows the ins and outs of the offense and how best to minimize whatever criminal liability your possession charge may bring you. So please, if you or a loved one has been charged with possession of a CDS in East Brunswick, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your case.