Pennington NJ Cocaine Possession Lawyer
Drugs are all too prevalent in Mercer County, and the Pennington Police have put special focus on prosecuting those who possess or distribute controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) like cocaine and crack. In fact, not long ago in the neighboring town of Princeton, a 19-year-old man was stopped in his car for not using a hands-free cell phone device. The stop lead to the man’s arrest for possession of marijuana, prescription drugs, and cocaine. If you have been charged with possession of cocaine, you need representation from an accomplished criminal lawyer. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has a staff of cocaine possession attorneys who can aggressively defend you utilizing over a century of combined experience, significant time serving as prosecutors. The first consultation with a Marshall Firm attorney is no cost to you. Call us at (609) 683-8102 to speak to one of the lawyers on our staff anytime during the day or night.Pennington NJ Cocaine Possession Offense
A Pennington NJ cocaine possession offense is covered by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. The law provides that:
It is unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely, to obtain or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance [or controlled dangerous substance analog].
Accordingly, the State must prove that (i) the drugs in question were, in fact, cocaine; (ii) the defendant actually or constructively possessed the cocaine; and (iii) the defendant knew he was possessed cocaine. Actually possessing cocaine means that the cocaine was on the defendant’s person. Constructively possessing cocaine means that the cocaine was not on the defendant’s person, but that it was in the defendant’s domain and control. For example, the 19-year-old mentioned earlier constructively possessed the cocaine that was found in his car during the car stop.
Defenses to the offense. As in the example, a large majority of cocaine possession matters arise in Pennington and elsewhere following a motor vehicle stop. Those circumstances lead to an evaluation of the following questions, which all can serve as valid defenses to a cocaine possession charge:
- Was the initial police stop justified?
- Was the police officer justified in taking the car stop to the next level by searching the interior of your car?
- Did the police officer ask for consent to search the car?
- Did the police officer inform you that you had the right not to give consent to a search?
- Did the police have probable cause to arrest you?
Once you consult with a Marshall Firm attorney, you will see how he or she can take the facts of your case and analyze all of the possible defenses available to you. That will prove important as you employ a defense strategy moving forward.
Penalties for the offense. The offense of cocaine possession is normally charged as a third-degree crime. (Note: possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute may be charged as a more serious crime). If convicted of a third-degree crime, you could face 3 to 5 years in prison, and a $35,000 fine. Further, if you are convicted of possession of cocaine while in a school zone; or within 500 feet of a public housing facility, public park, or public library; the sentence will be increased.Pennington Possession of Cocaine Attorney
Cocaine possession is a serious charge and the consequences of a conviction can have a severe impact on your job, your family, and you life. This is a primary reason why you need to retain a skilled attorney if you are facing this charge. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our lawyers know what you need to get the best result in your case. Let us help you defend against your Pennington cocaine possession charge and possibly even get the offense dismissed. Call us for a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys at (609) 683-8102. A lawyer at the Marshall Firm is available to speak with you 24/7.