People who are caught “holding” or in possession of drugs can be charges with illegal possession of a controlled substance. If other factors like a scale, small baggies, and other items suggesting distribution are present, additional charges may also apply. However, even the simple possession of an array of contraband can result in your arrest. Following your arrest you are likely to face serious criminal charges which may include a lengthy prison sentence.
Aside from placing your life and goals on hold to serve a prison sentence, upon release convicted individuals often find that they have a social stigma that prevents them from realizing certain opportunities. The impact of a felony conviction can be a stigma that prevents you from taking advantage of job opportunities, student aid, certain government assistance programs, and other impacts. Thus, in light of the formal and informal consequences that can be imposed, many individuals are willing to take their matter to trial and fight to protect themselves from the consequences of a drug conviction.
However, as an unrepresented individual, it can be extremely difficult and intimidating to meaningfully engage in the legal process. Remember, the prosecuting attorney does this every day for a living. Their goal is to secure convictions against accused individuals. The experienced drug possession defense attorneys of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych are dedicated to standing-up to prosecutorial overreach. We are committed to protecting your rights and mitigating or eliminating the criminal consequences you face. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call our firm at (609) 616-4956 or contact us online. We are available 24/7/365 for emergencies.
What Types of Drugs Are Illegal to Possess Under New Jersey Law?
A broad array of illegal drugs cannot be possessed for any reason. Other drugs, like prescription drugs cannot be possessed if the individual is lawfully authorized to do so through a doctor’s prescription. Drugs which are or can be illegal under New Jersey law include:
- Heroin (Schedule I)
- Marijuana/Cannabis (Schedule I)
- Cocaine (Schedule II)
- LSD (Schedule I)
- Ecstasy (Schedule I)
- Methamphetamines (Schedule II)
- Soma/Carisoprodol (Schedule IV)
- Adderall (Schedule II)
- Oxycodone (Schedule II)
- OxyContin (Schedule II)
- Ketamine (Schedule III)
- Valium (Schedule IV)
- Ambien (Schedule IV)
Aside from the possession of the actual physical substance, it is also illegal to possess items and goods known as drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia includes any object that is used to manufacture or facilitate the use of a drug. Items that can be considered drug paraphilia include spoons with drug residue, pipes, bowls, needles, bongs, and any other materials used or associate with drugs. Possession of drug paraphernalia can lead to additional and independent criminal charges.
What Penalties can I Face for Drug Possession in NJ?
Drug possession charges in New Jersey have serious consequences. For even the simple possession of marijuana, a person can face a prison sentence of up to 6 months and a $1,000 fine. For other drugs, penalties are significantly more harsh. For instance, possession of cocaine is based on the quantity of the substance possessed at the time of the arrest, but it is generally charged as a third-degree crime. Third-degree crimes can result in punishments of up to five years in prison and a $35,000 fine. If the offense took place in a school zone or while on a school bus, additional penalties can be imposed.
However in many circumstances additional charges for distribution may be forwarded even if you did not intend to sell or otherwise use the substance for anything but your own personal use. For instance, an individual who has a digital scale may face distribution charges even if the scale was only used to measure and control one’s own personal use. However, the police and prosecutor may be unaware of this intent or may use the additional charges to obtain greater leverage. Our experienced attorneys work to force the prosecution to prove each and every element of the charges they advance. Our goal is to protect hard-working people in South Jersey from criminal consequences due to police error or prosecutorial overreach.
Rely on Our Drug Possession Defense Experience in South Jersey
If you are facing drug charges in New Jersey, you face serious formal and informal consequences. The experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych can fight to protect your rights and freedom. To schedule a free and confidential drug possession defense consultation call us at (609) 616-4956 or contact us online.