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NJ Drug Crime Lawyer

Drug crimes are serious criminal offenses in New Jersey. Depending on the offense, charges can be filed as disorderly persons in municipal court or felonies in New Jersey State and New Jersey Federal Court.  Prosecutors are generally more aggressive for alleged drug crime Distribution  and manufacturing than exclusively Drug Crime Possession.

Some drug possessors are drug addicts which New Jersey State Criminal courts will consider drug court or Pretrial Intervention for First Offenders. (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 et seq.) In State municipal courts, the municipal court may consider Conditional Discharge for First Offenders. (2C:36A-1).

The prosecutor will consider the amount of drugs, the facts of the case, and packaging to in part determine whether the accused is a buyer of drugs or controlled dangerous substances, or a drug dealer whose principal motive is to make a profit from selling drugs.

In some cases, your best option is to fight the charge. Other times, a plea deal may be most beneficial. Regardless of what the best outcome is, you will only get that result if you have a drug crimes defense attorney working hard to defend you against allegations of drug Possession crimes in New Jersey.

In New Jersey, our drug crimes defense attorney based in New Jersey always works to ensure our clients get the best outcome possible in their unique situation. If you have questions about your specific drug crimes case or want to know how we will work hard to defend you, contact us at 908-962-9929 to schedule a Consultation.

Understanding Drug Crimes in New Jersey

Drug crimes refer to a broad category of acts involving illegal drugs. They include the use, possession, manufacturing, and distribution of unlawful controlled substances as well as unauthorized prescriptions and drug paraphernalia.

NJ Common Prescription Drugs involved in Drug Crimes

Prescription drugs are legal only when lawfully prescribed and used. They become unlawful when unlawfully prescribed, used, possessed, or distributed.

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)

NJ Common Drug Paraphernalia involved in Drug Crimes

Drug paraphernalia can be items that are obviously needed for drug use but also items that have everyday uses in the home. The definition for Drug Paraphernalia is broad and is defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 et seq.

  • rolling paper
  • roach clips
  • syringes, needs, or small spoons
  • bongs and hookahs
  • tin foil
  • straws or paper tubes
  • razorblades or cards
  • Scales and balances used to weigh Drugs

NJ Possession

It is illegal to possess a controlled substance. This also includes prescriptions without authorization and drug paraphernalia.

NJ Manufacturing

You can be charged with various offenses for participating in any step of the production of an illegal drug. This includes the creation of a synthetic drug, such as amphetamines, or the extraction of a naturally occurring drug, for example, cannabis. 

NJ Trafficking

It is against the law to sell, transport, or import a controlled substance. Trafficking is one of the most serious drug crimes, attracting harsh penalties. Federal law applies and a trafficking conviction can result in life imprisonment. 

Understanding Drug Crimes Classifications

Controlled substances are classified by the federal government into five classes. These classes are organized according to the drug's potential for abuse balanced with its potential medical use.

  • Class 1: These drugs have no medical benefits but a high potential for abuse. These are no safe methods of use even if supervised by a medical professional. Examples include heroin, hallucinogens (like LSD), and even marijuana even though New Jersey has recently enacted legislation that  permits the sale and use of Marijuana in New Jersey. (New Jersey's Cannabis Regulatory Assistance and Mderization. (CREAMM ACT)
  • Class 2: These drugs have some medical use but a high potential for abuse and addiction. examples include p cocaine.
  • Class 3: These drugs also have some medical use but the potential for abuse and addiction is lower. Examples include anabolic steroids, ketamine, and painkillers that combine opiates with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Class 4: These drugs have significant medical use and low potential for abuse and addiction. examples include barbiturates like Phenobarbital and sedatives like Valium and Xanax.
  • Class 5: These drugs also have significant medical use and lower risk of abuse or addiction. Examples include cough syrup, anti-diarrheal drugs, and other household drugs.

Each state may classify controlled substances according to its own specific categories and laws. You always want to speak to a drug crimes defense lawyer to know what applies in your case.

New Jersey Penalties for Drug Crime Convictions

A range of penalties is available to the court when sentencing drug offenders, including:

  • Fines
  • Probation or community supervision
  • Court-ordered drug counseling sessions or rehabilitation
  • Community service
  • Incarceration, including life imprisonment

When sentencing for a drug crime, the court usually takes into account:

  • the type and amount of drugs involved
  • whether possession was for personal use or distribution
  • the offender's previous convictions, especially for drug offenses
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1 separates sentencing into aggravating factors and mitigating factors. It is recommended to retain an attorney to argue on your behalf at any sentencing hearing.

There are also mandatory minimum sentences attached to some drug offenses or for repeat offenders. In some situations the Prosecutor will make application for an Extended Term pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-3.

Why Fight all Drug Possession Allegation in New Jersey

A conviction for a drug crime can have serious, long-lasting consequences. 

Aside from any penalty you receive, a conviction for a drug distribution and manufacturing offense can negatively impact your ability to find work, maintain personal relationships, hold a driver's license, secure a loan, enlist in the military, or own a gun. Moreover, the State has the burden of proving their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

For these reasons, you should immediately speak to a drug crime defense lawyer at New Jersey if you've been charged with a drug crime.

How a Drug  Defense Attorney in New Jersey Can Help

Even minor drug offenses can attract harsh penalties and affect your future. The law around drug offenses is complex and can involve both state and federal authorities. So, it's important to find a defense lawyer who is well-versed in these types of offenses. 

They can explain the process, your rights, and any defenses available to you to fight the charges. They can also advocate on your behalf when negotiating with the prosecution or representing you in court. This is why you should contact New Jersey if you or someone you love is facing drug charges.

Contact a NJ Drug Possession Defense Lawyer in New Jersey

With the help of a lawyer experienced in defending drug crimes, you can minimize the potential effects of a drug conviction on your future or even avoid a conviction in the first place. Get started on your defense by contacting New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Charles Dawkins Jr. by calling 908-962-9929 or filling out an online form today to schedule a Consultation.

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The Law Firm represents clients in all New Jersey Counties and municipalities including the following counties: Union County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, and Camden County.