Pennington NJ Drug Possession Lawyer
In the news some time ago, a student was arrested after taking possession of a package containing drugs, specifically, 7 grams of ecstasy (a.k.a. MDMA or Molly). Law enforcement had intercepted the package before allowing it to continue to its destination. At the time of his arrest, the defendant was also found in possession of a duffel bag containing an assortment of controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) including ½ ounce of LSD, 55 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of hashish and 60 Adderall pills. The former student ultimately pleaded guilty to drug possession and distribution charges and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. No question, drug possession could lead to serious consequences. If you are facing a drug or CDS possession offense in Pennington New Jersey, you need a seasoned attorney by your side. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are equipped with several who are highly capable to serve you in this capacity. We are former prosecutors with over 100 years of experience defending those charged with possessing CDS in Mercer County, including in Pennington. A lawyer is ready to provide a free initial consultation where we will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest. Call us at (609) 683-8102 to speak to one of our attorneys in an immediate free consultation.Pennington Drug & CDS Possession Offenses
A Pennington criminal offense for possession of CDS stems from N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. This law makes it unlawful to actually or constructively possess drugs without a valid prescription.
Important Definitions. The first term to understand is what is meant by “possession.” Possession can be actual or constructive (as the statute above states). Actual possession is having the CDS on your person. Constructive possession is having the CDS in your control (e.g., a friend is holding it for you, or it is in your car) but not on your person. Next, the term “knowingly” means that you are aware that you are in possession of CDS. Finally, the term “controlled dangerous substance” or CDS refers to the drugs in your possession that are not prescribed to you. CDS could include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA, Methamphetamine (crystal meth), GHB, LSD, PCP, and prescription legend drugs like OxyContin and Xanax.
Elements of the Offense. The prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction for drug possession: (1) the item in question is a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) or CDS analog; (2) the accused possessed or obtained the item in question; and (3) the defendant acted knowingly or purposely in possessing the item.
Penalties. Drug possession is charged as one of three levels of severity, depending on the type of drug. An offense for possessing CDS can result in a third degree crime, fourth degree crime or a disorderly persons offense. A charge for distribution of a CDS may also result in a first degree crime or second degree crime. A third degree drug possession offense is punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and up to $35,000 in fines and applies to CDS like heroin, cocaine, MDMA (i.e. Molly or Ecstasy) and LSD. A fourth degree offense for possession of CDS carries up to 18 months in prison and up to $15,000 in fines ($25,000 if the CDS is marijuana). This applies where possession involves 50 or more dosage units of Xanax, Suboxone, Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycodone or other prescription drugs or over 50 grams of marijuana. Finally, a disorderly persons possession conviction (which is if you possess 50 grams or less of marijuana, or 4 dosage units or less of a prescription drug) for possession is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. An individuals convicted of drug possession in Pennington Municipal Court or at the Mercer County Superior Court is also subject to a license suspension of at least 6 months and as much as 2 years. If the CDS was possessed in a school zone, a period of community service of at least 100 hours also applies.Pennington CDS Possession Attorney
As illustrated from the example above, possession of CDS can result in serious ramifications in Pennington, Princeton or another Mercer County municipality. If you were arrested for possessing any drug under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5 or another statute, you need a savvy attorney to defend you. Attempting to address CDS charges without representation from an accomplished drug lawyer exposes you to risks that are just too high. Call our Princeton Office at (609) 683-8102 to speak to one of criminal defense lawyers immediately about your heroin or other drug possession case. Attorneys are available 24/7 to assist you.