Drug Possession Lawyer in New Brunswick NJ
Drug possession is among the predominating charges issued in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Technically known as possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substance), this offense encompasses drugs ranging from marijuana to heroin and prescription drugs. If you have been charged with drug possession at Rutgers University or elsewhere in New Brunswick, the consequences of a conviction can be harsh and life-altering. You may be overwhelmed and full of questions about the degree of the charges, potential penalties, what court to go to, and if you can get a drug possession charge dismissed. At Proetta & Oliver, our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys understand what you’re going through. We handle drug possession cases for clients in New Brunswick and throughout Middlesex County on a regular basis and we’re here to help. Contact us anytime at (732) 659-9600 or reach out online for a free consultation. And continue reading to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about drug possession in New Brunswick, NJ.
What is the Degree of a Drug Possession Charge?
The degree of a charge for possession of CDS is determined by the specific substance involved in the case. The drug possession statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, delineates drugs among the various Drug Schedules. The NJ Drug Schedules include Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V controlled dangerous substances. Where the drug is classified within the schedules determines the degree of a drug possession charge under New Jersey law, unless it is specifically referred to in the statute. Some of the most common drugs in these cases include:
- Marijuana under 50 grams: disorderly persons offense
- Marijuana over 50 grams: fourth degree crime
- Heroin: third degree crime
- Cocaine: third degree crime
- Prescription Drugs: third degree crime
- MDMA/Ecstasy/Molly: third degree crime
What are the Penalties for Possession of Drugs?
The potential penalties in a drug possession case are contingent upon the degree of the charges. For example, a disorderly persons offense for drug possession is punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine of $1,000. A fourth degree drug possession charge may result in up to 18 months in NJ State Prison. Third degree drug possession charges are more serious, exposing a person to between 3 and 5 years in prison. Fortunately, these charges entail a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders. There are also a number of programs available to those facing drug possession charges in New Jersey, including the Pretrial Intervention Program, Conditional Discharge, and Drug Court. If you successfully complete any of these programs, the initial drug charge is dismissed.
What Court do I go to for Possession of CDS?
The court that will handle your drug possession case is determined by the degree of the charges. If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense, your case will be heard in New Brunswick Municipal Court. On the other hand, a fourth degree or third degree crime is an indictable offense (felony) and these cases are sent to the Middlesex County Superior Court to be adjudicated. In either scenario, a conviction for drug possession will show on your criminal record. Being convicted of a crime involving drugs can become a significant hindrance as you pursue opportunities for employment, education, and more.
Arrested for Drug Possession in New Brunswick, New Jersey?
If you are facing drug possession charges in New Brunswick, New Jersey, it is highly advisable to have an attorney on your side. At Proetta & Oliver, our lawyers have extensive experience in New Brunswick courtrooms and we are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients. After we investigate your case, we determine the best path to a dismissal. If there is search and seizure issue or another defense strategy that we can use to get the charges dismissed outright, we move forward with an aggressive defense. If we need to negotiate for a downgraded charge or lesser penalties, we use skillful tactics to do so. If a diversionary program provides your best avenue to a dismissal, we help secure your admission. In other words, we are dedicated to successfully resolving your case. For more information about drug possession and a free consultation about your New Brunswick drug case, contact us today at (732) 659-9600.