Drug Possession in Monroe NJ
Charged with Drug Possession in Monroe Township
Monroe Township has seen vast growth over the last twenty years. Specifically, the residential aspect of the community has increased as well as the commercial establishments through the consumption and redevelopment of former farmland. With the growth in the population and commercial foot traffic comes the influx of drugs, referred to under the law in New Jersey as controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Monroe Township as well as neighboring towns throughout Middlesex County, will prosecute you and anyone who violates the law pertaining to possession of a controlled dangerous substance, a charge that will be filed as N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. Some who possess CDS may have substance abuse issues, while others use it recreationally, and some may use it for depression and other mental health challenges. Make no mistake, the law makes no distinction about your level of involvement or dependency upon drugs. You as a recreational user of LSD or mushrooms could be punished just as harshly as someone who uses 10 bags of heroin daily. The fact is that depending on the drug possessed, your prior record, and the weight of the drugs, you face varying terms in jail and a host of financial penalties.
Considering the consequences on the line, you should speak with an attorney who can defend you against drug possession charges in Monroe, regardless of whether the substance involved was marijuana, cocaine, heroin, MDMA, steroids, or others. Our dedicated drug possession defense lawyers are prepared to defend you in Monroe Township Municipal Court or Middlesex County Superior Court and we will stop at nothing to deliver to best possible outcome in your case. Call (732) 659-9600 anytime, day or night, for a free initial consultation and get the straight answers you are seeking for your CDS related case. We can be reached 24/7 to assist you.
What Degree is a Drug CDS Possession Charge in Monroe?
A criminal complaint for possession of CDS can be filed as a third or fourth degree indictable offense or a disorderly persons offense, which is essentially a criminal misdemeanor. In Monroe, third and fourth degree criminal complaints are filed with the Middlesex County Superior Court, Criminal Division. Crimes of possession in the third degree include LSD, Molly, Mushrooms, PCP, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, Ecstasy and some prescription drugs such as methadone. Fourth degree substances include synthetic marijuana, greater than 50 grams of marijuana and greater than 5 grams of hashish, along with possession of THC in a vape pen.
Will I go to Jail for Possessing CDS in Monroe Twp?
In most cases involving possession of CDS, time in custody is not required and you may receive probation or even dismissal through completion of Pretrial Intervention (PTI). But that is not to say that all cases will end up with such satisfactory results because New Jersey does allow for the imposition of state prison terms for any felony offense. All indictable crimes are heard in Superior Court unless downgraded to a lesser offense and remanded to the local Municipal Court. Upon conviction for a felony, the court has the option of sentencing you to a term of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison. Three (3) to five (5) years is authorized for a third degree CDS possession charge and imprisonment for up to 18 months in the case of a fourth degree. Although third and fourth degree charges are felonies, there are good alternatives to a plea or conviction without state prison attached.
In indictable criminal cases of the third and fourth degree, the court does not have to send you to jail. New Jersey allows Judges to exercise their sound discretion in placing you on probation in lieu of jail if you have never committed an offense before. In fact, if the judge wants to send you to state prison they would have to overcome the presumption against incarceration for first time offenders. Nonetheless, the judge may impose certain penalties for these drug possession offenses, namely up to $35,000 for 3rd degree drug crimes and as much as $25,000 for some 4th degree CDS possession crimes. Additionally, a loss of license can be implemented for 6 to 24 months. These fees may be imposed even if you never plead guilty and instead enter Pretrial Intervention and the charges are dismissed.
Knowing your Options when Facing Monroe Drug Possession Charges
PTI is a great option for anyone charged with a drug offense who has never been given an opportunity to divert their case before and otherwise has a clean criminal record. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling this process on behalf of clients charged with drug possession and other crimes, and we will help you apply for PTI by filling out the application and walking you through the interview process. After you interview with the criminal division, the prosecutor decides to accept or reject your application. Candidates who are accepted will enter the program by way of court order outlining all of the conditions imposed for 12 to 36 months. Once complete, the charges will be dismissed and you can file for expungement within 6 months.
For some however, gaining admission to PTI may prove more difficult. Prosecutors may take into consideration the varying drugs possessed, the weight of the drugs, and the circumstances surrounding your arrest when rejecting your application. Similarly, although most applicants are unaware of this, the criminal division may consider human factors such as how you behave, whether you are perceived as lying, and your overall demeanor and contacts with the system when deciding to accept or reject you. We can assist in this area and guide you through the process to put yourself in a better position when seeking admission into the program. If rejected from PTI, we may choose to file an appeal and ask the judge to override the prosecutor’s decision. Also, for those with any criminal past, there may be an option of applying for Drug Court which allows you to avoid jail and seek treatment instead.
Arrested for a Disorderly Persons Offense for Drugs in Monroe Township
There is a similar program in Monroe Township Municipal Court for disorderly persons offenses. This program is known as a conditional discharge and results in dismissal in the same way as PTI. The difference is that conditional discharge is solely available for disorderly persons drug offenses. Possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, failing to turnover CDS to police, possession of drug paraphernalia, and being under the influence CDS are all disorderly persons offenses that allow for a dismissal by way of conditional discharge, or as much as 6 months in jail and $1,000 fine for those found guilty.
Avoiding Conviction for a Monroe Drug Possession Offense
There are many cases in which PTI or probation may not be an option and you are realistically looking at jail. This may be due to your prior record or the circumstances under which you were arrested. For example, if you are traveling along the turnpike, route 33 or even fishing at Lake Manalapan in Thomson Park, and you have drugs in your possession, jail is a possibility. Smoking marijuana in the park; however, is conceivably much different than having a host of controlled substances on you such as meth, cocaine, LSD, heroin, $10,000 in your pocket and even resisting the police when arresting you. Although all of these drugs can be possessed at the same time, it would not be a far stretch for the prosecutor to believe that you are a dealer without a substance abuse issue and that you should not be afforded rehabilitation. When you are facing significant consequences for possessing or intent to distribute CDS in Monroe, you need the most well-formulated defense possible.
Local Monroe NJ Drug Possession Attorneys with Experience that Counts
When arrested and charged with drug possession in Monroe, NJ, you have the power to control what happens next. When appropriate, our Monroe drug possession attorneys are relentless in the fight to suppress the search of you, your car, or your home. If your rights were violated, we can file motions to suppress the search, the search warrant, and any evidence confiscated as a result. Using all of our years of accumulated knowledge and experience handling drug cases, our office will not make it easy for the prosecutor to convict or put you away. We can also assist in negotiating with the prosecution, thus establishing harsh sentencing mitigation by reaching a better deal. With our previous experience defending Monroe Township drug charges and understanding of the law and local courts, you can be in a better position than going it alone or with a less experienced attorney. Call (732) 659-9600 if you would like to speak with a lawyer at our office free of charge. We can be reached 24/7 to immediately assist you.