Drug Possession in Old Bridge, New Jersey
Old Bridge NJ Drug Possession Defense Attorney
In the minds of lawmakers and law enforcement, drug use and the availability of drugs jeopardize the safety of all people in Old Bridge, New Jersey. The town recognizes the danger of drugs and has even offered free Narcan training just as recently as July 14, 2020. Despite the town’s overall willingness to help educate anyone willing to learn about substance abuse, the police will not hesitate to arrest those found in possession of drugs in the township. When you have been arrested for drugs in Old Bridge, the severity of the charges depends upon the type of substance found, the amount or weight, and the circumstances surrounding the offense. Moreover, the possible outcomes of these cases involve many factors. Our experienced staff has proven results in Old Bridge drug cases; and we can sift through the facts and apply the law to achieve a better result in your case. If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug offense, call us today at (732)-659-9600 for representation, as well as a complete explanation of your charges and the penalties you face. In the meantime, read below for general information concerning drug possession charges in Old Bridge Township.
Charged with Drug Possession in Old Bridge NJ
The term CDS is commonly used by courts, prosecutors, and attorneys in Middlesex County and throughout the state. CDS stands for Controlled Dangerous Substance and implies that the substance is recognized and regulated in the State of New Jersey. All substances that are illegal in total, or those that cannot be possessed without a proper prescription specific to you, are listed on the Schedules of Controlled Dangerous Substances. A complete list of the drug schedules and the substances that are banned or those requiring a prescription can be found in the “New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act,” which begins in Section 24:21-1.
Controlled substances are categorized in accordance with their potential for abuse, accepted medical use, and possible dependency. An abbreviated version of widely used substances within the Drug Schedules includes the following:
- Schedule I: Methamphetamine, MDMA, Marijuana, Synthetic Marijuana, Heroin, LSD (acid)
- Schedule II: Cocaine, Percocet, Oxycontin, Fentanyl, Vicodin, various Amphetamines
- Schedule III: Steroids, Ketamine, Suboxone
- Schedule IV: Xanax, Barbiturates, Klonopin, Valium
- Schedule V: Lower doses of Dihydrocodeine, Ethylmorphine, Diphenoxylate, and in some cases, medicines containing limited amounts of narcotics.
Title 2c, Chapter 35 of the New Jersey Criminal Code is the “Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987,” which outlines the offenses that you can be charged with in connection with CDS. Aside from possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, drug possession offenses are all indictable crimes. Further, the degree of the crime depends on the chemical nature of the substance and the amount possessed.
Old Bridge Felony Drug Possession Charges
If you are caught in illegal possession of any controlled dangerous substance (CDS), you will be charged with an offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. “Caught” can mean that the substance is found on your person, in your car or your belongings, or in close proximity to you (even if it is in someone else’s car, purse, or bag). When arrested for drugs in Old Bridge, you may be held in jail until you appear before a judge, or police will charge you and will release you on a summons. When charged on a warrant, the decision to hold or release a criminal defendant rests in the hands of a judge who references a “score” that is comprised of your criminal history, the severity of the offense, and the likelihood of you failing to appear in court as required. There are multiple numbers associated with the score and the scale ranges from 1 (best) to 6 (worst). If the score is low enough, the court will recommend release, but the prosecutor can still file a motion to hold you until the entirety of your case is complete.
If the prosecutor seeks to hold you, he or she files a motion for detention and a hearing date is scheduled. During this critical stage, a bail hearing is conducted, after which the Judge will make the decision on whether to hold or release you while your case moves forward. Attorneys such as ours know what judges and prosecutors look for when making these decisions, and we will zealously pursue your release. Nonetheless, if held, your case will be on a fast track to trial as there are strict timelines set forth by the State governing when your case must be indicted and tried. The idea behind the timelines is that it prevents people from languishing in jail and feeling forced into making a decision that they wouldn’t otherwise make.
Third Degree Possession of CDS in Old Bridge NJ
Regardless of whether you are held or released after being arrested for drugs, there are punishments that the state authorizes judges to hand down if you plead or are found guilty of a CDS offense. For example, if you are charged with third degree possession of CDS, the sentence you may receive includes between 3 and 5 years in state prison, $35,000 in fines, a $1,000 Drug Penalty (DEDR), DNA and Fingerprinting, possible immigration consequence, loss of you NJ driving privileges, and other mandatory fines and collateral consequences.
Third degree drug possession crimes are perhaps the most common CDS offenses. The reason they are the most commonly filed charges is that even the most minor amount of the most popular drugs mandate such charges. For instance, possessing meth, molly, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and LSD, are all third degree crimes. No matter whether you possess two packets of heroin, or have trace amounts of cocaine on a mirror, you will be charged with a third degree crime. There is no lower offense than a third degree felony for these drugs. But, CDS possessed in larger quantities can result in higher-level charges in the first and second degree, such as possession with intent to distribute or distribution.
Fourth Degree Drug Possession Offenses in Old Bridge
Aside from the above, you may be charged with a fourth degree indictable crime for those drugs listed on Schedule V or prescriptions when the number of pills does not exceed 4. These crimes are still felonies but allow for less extensive punishment than for third degree offenses. If convicted, the judge is authorized to require incarceration for a max of 18 months, can place you on probation for up to 5 years, or send you to the Middlesex County Jail for 364 days. As is the case with a third degree drug crime, your legal ability to drive in this state can be suspended. You will also be ordered to pay a drug penalty of $750 and as much as $15,000 in fines can be assessed, aside from any mandatory penalties. Marijuana is unique when it comes to drug possession. Particularly, if you possess more than 50 grams of marijuana, a fourth degree criminal offense will be alleged and the fine increases to $25,000.
Charged with Disorderly Persons Drug Possession in Old Bridge Township
If you possess less than 50 grams of marijuana, your case will be heard in Old Bridge Municipal Court as opposed to Middlesex County Superior Court, as this charge is a disorderly persons offense, not a felony. For misdemeanor marijuana possession, you can be required to pay a $1000 fine and a $500 DEDR penalty, plus serving 6 months in jail, and court-ordered probation
Call an Old Bridge Drug Possession Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
In the face of drug charges against you, our distinguished Old Bridge drug defense attorneys will listen to your concerns, review the facts, and go for the right result. The above sentences are the basics of what the court can do if you are facing drug charges in the Township of Old Bridge. That being said, there are a multitude of possible resolutions and sentences. Potential outcomes can also include mandatory Drug Court, Pre-trial Intervention (dismissal if conditions are met), conditional discharge, probation, or a combination of jail and probation. In other cases, evidentiary issues and problematic methods on the part of police or the state may give you an opportunity to get the charges dismissed. Call us today at (732)-659-9600 if you are in need of a free consultation.