Being charged with the possession of a schedule I illegal substance can lead to severe consequences. A criminal conviction of this nature can affect all aspects of your life. If you or a loved one was charged with the possession of magic mushrooms or other illegal drugs in Atlantic City, we may be able to help.
Call The Law Offices of John J. Zarych today for a free, confidential consultation on your specific case at (609) 616-4956.
Can I Get Arrested for Magic Mushroom Possession?
Psilocybin magic mushrooms are polyphyletic fungi containing psychedelic components capable of inducing hallucinations. These mushrooms can be found in the wild. Many believe that, since they grow naturally, their consumption can’t have legal implications. However, “magic mushrooms” are illegal under federal law. As a matter of fact, these fungi are classified as a Schedule I prohibited substance under state law. The reason behind its illegality has to do with the active ingredients found within the mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms contain an active chemical compound known as “psilocybin,” a hallucinogenic chemical. Magic mushrooms can cause different reactions depending on the number of mushrooms ingested. Some of the most common responses to psilocybin ingestion include hallucinations, vomiting, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, and in severe cases of intoxication, death.
For this reason, the state prohibits growing, selling, possessing, or distributing these mushrooms. To give some context, magic mushrooms are under the same category as cocaine and heroin. This means if you are found guilty of crimes related to this drug, you may face severe penalties. The criminal consequences you face will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case.
What Are the Criminal Consequences for Magic Mushroom Possession?
As mentioned above, possession, distribution, sale, or growth of this illegal substance can carry severe, life-changing consequences for the defendant depending on the charges against him or her.
Actual possession means you had the mushrooms on your person, whether in a bag, purse, backpack, or pocket. If you had magic mushrooms on your person and under your control, you will likely face actual possession charges.
Constructive possession extends the control a person has over an illegal object even when said object is not within the person’s immediate power. Furthermore, it refers to the knowledge a person may have of an object plus his or her ability to exert control over it. For instance, if you are growing psilocybin mushrooms in a barn behind your house, they may not be in your immediate control all the time, but you have knowledge of their existence, and you can exert control over them at any moment.
The simple possession of magic mushrooms is considered a third-degree felony under New Jersey law. If you are found guilty of simple possession, you can face severe consequences. The consequences you may suffer if convicted of this crime include as much as $35,000 in fines and five years in prison. Keep in mind these are not the only consequences you can face should you be convicted for magic mushroom possession.
Several factors can aggravate the penalties against you. For instance, if you are charged with possession with the intent of delivering (PWID), you can face up to $150,000 in fines and ten years in prison. In addition to fines and prison time, your conviction will remain in your criminal history. Having a felony conviction in your file can hurt your chances of finding a job or a place to live. Having a skilled, professional, and experienced legal representation can help you defend yourself against your criminal charges.
Can I Defend Myself Against My Magic Mushroom Possession Charges?
While being charged with the possession of an illegal substance can be devastating, it doesn’t mean you will be found guilty right from the get-go. Keep in mind you need to be found guilty beyond all reasonable doubt to be convicted of a felony. You may be able to fight off your charges by building a strong, reliable criminal defense strategy. Some of the things our lawyers can help you with includes:
Establishing an unlawful search and seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects all citizens against illegal searches and seizures. Law enforcement cannot act against you in contravention of your constitutional rights. If a police officer finds magic mushrooms in “plain view,” for instance, they can seize the illegal substance and put you under arrest. However, if they intervene against you in a place where you have an expectation of privacy without a court-issued warrant, then they would be found in violation of your civil rights – more specifically your right to due process– and your charges may be dismissed.
Establishing that the drugs were not yours
Many times, this type of defense can be difficult to determine, especially if you had drugs seized on your person. However, in situations where more than one person lives under the same roof, such as a roommate or friend, it could be possible to establish and prove the seized drugs were not yours or that you had no idea they were on the property.
Establishing an entrapment
The defense of entrapment is available when members of law enforcement – typically undercover – pressure a suspect or induces them to take part in an illegal act for the purpose of making an arrest. Police officers cannot force you into doing something you otherwise wouldn’t do. A skilled, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you through the entire process.
Criminal Defense Lawyers Offering Free Consultations in Atlantic City
The suspected possession of an illegal substance can lead to severe consequences. At The Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyers can help you build a strong, strategic, and aggressive defense to help fight off your charges. Call our law offices today for a free, confidential consultation with one of our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers at (609) 616-4956.