Wildwood is one of the favorite beaches in New Jersey because of its boardwalk, amusement park, bars and restaurants, and of course its beaches. Many go on vacation, hoping to have a good time, but sometimes their vacation is turned around completely when they are arrested.
Drug possession is a crime that New Jersey police crack-down on. If you have been arrested in Wildwood for drug possession, whether you are a local or on vacation, you are going to need to face those charges in New Jersey. That means you need a New Jersey attorney on your side to help you fight the charges. The Law Offices of John J. Zarych represent defendants for drug possession charges in New Jersey. Call (609) 616-4956 for a free consultation today.
Drug Possession Crimes in Wildwood
New Jersey’s drug possession charges, like those of many states, change in severity based on what type of drug is possessed. Drugs are classified by the state into “Schedules,” which are numbered I through V, with I being the most dangerous drugs, getting the highest punishment.
The following are some examples of common drugs in the worst three schedules – some of the more common categories people are charged with:
- MDA, MMDA, and MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly, and similar drugs)
- Psilocybin (the hallucinogenic found in “magic mushrooms”)
- Opium and its derivatives
- Cocaine – both powder and crack
- Methamphetamines (Crystal Meth)
- PCP (Angel Dust)
- Amphetamines, including drugs like Adderall
Some of these are actually prescription drugs – but it is illegal in New Jersey to possess them without a valid prescription.
Possession, use, or being under the effects of these drugs are all illegal under N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-10. As mentioned, you cannot be convicted under this statute if you had a valid prescription for the drug, but many of these drugs are never prescribed by doctors. Additionally, you cannot use a prescription as a defense if you had more than ten doses outside of their original bottle, because that is another crime under § 2C:35-24.
It is also illegal to possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it, which is a separate offense under N.J.S.A. § 2C:36-2. Paraphernalia includes not only devices used to smoke or otherwise administer drugs, but also items to produce, grow, store, process, weigh, or sort drugs. That means paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to, the following items:
- Rolling papers
- Roach clips
- Needles and syringes
In order for possession of these to be illegal, the prosecution needs to prove that these items were possessed with the intent to use them for illegal drugs. Some things, like rolling papers, have a perfectly legitimate use outside of illegal drugs (i.e. for tobacco use), so this might sometimes be a challenge for prosecutors.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Wildwood
Possession of a drug that is on schedules I through IV is a third degree crime, punishable by three to five years in prison and fines up to $35,000. These punishments change based on weight and type of drug. For instance, 50 grams or less of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense, with punishment up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. More than 50 grams, though, is a fourth degree crime, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Possession of synthetic marijuana is treated under a separate statute, N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-5.3c. It is a fourth degree crime with up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for less than one ounce. For more than one ounce, it is a third degree crime with three to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Punishments are even worse for those who are caught with drugs under circumstances that show the drugs are possessed with the intent to distribute them. That includes giving drugs to others in any way – whether there was money exchanged or not. There is a special focus on dealing heroin, cocaine, and LSD – which can see fines of $500,000 and 10 to 20 years in prison for their highest weight categories – and methamphetamine and marijuana – which can see fines of $300,000 and 10 to 20 years in prison for their highest weight categories.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons offense, punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
Our Wildwood Drug Possession Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you or your child has been charged with drug possession in Wildwood, or anywhere in New Jersey, you will need to fight those charges in New Jersey. That means hiring an experienced New Jersey drug defense attorney. The Law Offices of John J. Zarych handle drug possession charges for their clients, and have years of experience with criminal defense. For a free, confidential, no obligations consultation, call us at (609) 616-4956.