Atlantic City Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance Lawyers
Drugs and controlled substances are a major problem in New Jersey and throughout the United States. It may be a criminal offense just to knowingly have certain kinds of drugs in your possession. Drugs are broken down into categories called Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V, which may be associated with different criminal penalties.
Schedule II controlled substances are some of the most serious drugs a person can have. If you are found to be in possession of these drugs, you could be criminally charged. These charges may change depending on your circumstances. For example, if the police suspect you were dealing the drugs rather than holding them for personal use, your charges may be more severe. Drug crimes can be tricky because charges vary based on numerous factors. However, that means there may be numerous ways to defend yourself.
If you are facing charges for possession of Schedule II controlled substances or any other drugs, you need the help of a skilled lawyer. Our Atlantic City drug crimes attorneys have the experience and knowledge to fight your charges. Contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych to speak with our team about your situation. Call our offices at (609) 616-4956 to arrange a free, confidential legal consultation.
Drug Crime Classifications in Atlantic City
In New Jersey, drugs and controlled substances are classified into different Schedules based on the seriousness of the substance. Schedule I drugs have the highest potential for abuse and the least potential for legitimate medical purposes. Schedule V drugs, while still illegal, are the least serious, and some actually have recognized medical purposes. Schedule II controlled substances fall just short of the seriousness of Schedule I drugs, but they are still punished very harshly.
Schedule II controlled substances can be found under N.J.S.A. 24:21-6. The statute contains a description of drugs and controlled substances that fit into Schedule II:
- Drugs with a high potential for abuse.
- Drugs with a currently accepted medical use in the United States. That medical use may come with serious restrictions.
- Drugs that could lead to psychic or physical dependency or addiction when abused.
The statute also includes a list of drugs classified as Schedule II:
- Cocaine (crack and powder)
- Oxycodone and oxycontin
The average person might not know exactly where certain controlled substances land on the drug Schedules. You could be in possession of a Schedule II drug that you thought was something less serious. If you are arrested for possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, call our Atlantic City drug crime defense lawyers for help.
Criminal Charges for Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance in Atlantic City
Drug crimes are taken so seriously in Atlantic City that merely possessing drugs will be charged as a criminal offense. The crime of possession can be found under N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-10 and contains the charges for possession of Schedule II drugs in addition to other Schedules. Controlled substances that are frequently part of Schedule II drug offenses include cocaine, meth, oxy, and fentanyl, among others. If you are arrested for possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, you should call our Atlantic City drug crime attorneys immediately.
Under the law, it is illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance unless it was obtained through a valid prescription. A defendant charged with this offense in relation to a Schedule II controlled substance will face charges for a third-degree crime. To be found guilty, the prosecutors do not have to establish that you were actually using the drug or were under its influence when you were arrested. However, if prosecutors can prove you were using the drug, that may be sufficient to convict.
Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-6, a person convicted of a third-degree crime may be sentenced to a term in state prison for at least 3 years but no more than 5 years. They may also face a fine of up to $35,000. For help fighting your charges, call our Atlantic City drug crimes lawyers.
Defenses to Criminal Charges for Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substances in Atlantic City
You might be charged with drug crimes related to a Schedule II controlled substance, but that does not mean those charges will stick. There are numerous ways you can defend yourself against your criminal charges. Having an experienced attorney by your side will only improve your odds of success.
To be convicted, the prosecution must not only prove that you were in possession or control of the drugs but that you knew you were in possession of controlled substances. This means that only defendants who knew the drugs were in their possession or control can be charged. If you did not even know they were in your possession, you might have a defense. For example, if someone else, unbeknownst to you, stashed drugs in your car or even slipped them into your bag or purse, you might have a defense.
The way the drugs were seized by law enforcement may also play a part in your defense. Most often, drugs are seized according to an arrest or a search warrant. If that arrest or search warrant was not valid or performed improperly, any evidence may be suppressed. So, if the police illegally obtained the drugs they wish to use as evidence against you, we can prevent them from introducing the drugs as evidence. Call our Atlantic City drug crime attorneys for more information.
How an Atlantic City Drug Possession Attorney Can Help You with Charges for Schedule II Drugs
Having an attorney by your side when facing charges for drug possession can only help your case. The criminal justice process is extremely complex and can take a long time before finally coming to an end. There are numerous stages and phases throughout the process in which you must appear in front of a judge or communicate with the prosecutors, all before ever getting to a trial.
An attorney also puts you in a better bargaining position if you are interested in negotiating a plea agreement. Most cases do not even make it to a full trial and instead end with a plea agreement. You would plead guilty, and the prosecutor would reduce your charges in exchange for your plea. This way, you both avoid a trial, and you get a lighter sentence.
For help dealing with your charges, reach out to our Atlantic City drug crime lawyers as soon as possible.
Call Our Atlantic City Drug Crime Defense Attorneys
If you are charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, you need help right away. Our Atlantic City drug crime lawyers can assist you in challenging your case. Set up a free legal consultation with our team at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Call (609) 616-4956 today.