Piscataway Drug Charges NJ
Drug Possession Lawyers in Piscataway, New Jersey
Anyone charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in Piscataway is facing either an indictable crime or disorderly persons offense. Depending on the drug in question, whether marijuana, cocaine, heroin, MDMA, or a prescription medication such as Xanax, these cases are heard in either the Piscataway Municipal Court or Middlesex County Superior Court. If you have been arrested for drugs in Piscataway, the court that you will be required to attend and the corresponding penalties to which you are exposed vary depending on the degree of crime. The severity of the charges possible under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 shift among changing controlled dangerous substances. Some of the most common questions concerning CDS charges in Piscataway are answered below for your reference. If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Piscataway Drug Possession Attorney at our local defense firm, we are just a phone call away at (732) 659-9600. You can also send us a message requesting a free consultation today.
Piscataway Drug Offenses
A controlled dangerous substance is an illegal narcotic, or drug that can only be possessed with a prescription from a doctor. Each drug in New Jersey is listed in accordance with its classification in one of the five Drug Schedules. The Schedules list both banned and legal substances that you can be arrested for having in your possession. As you may already know, street drugs are generally illegal in New Jersey and throughout the country. For example, you are never allowed to possess heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, synthetic marijuana, or Ecstasy. These drugs are banned altogether and thus, may result in your being arrested on drug possession charges.
By way of example, if an officer pulls up to your car and sees a needle, a straw, or an empty glassine packet often associated with heroin, you may be charged with possession of heroin, possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe, and/or possession of drug paraphernalia. The substance will be logged into evidence by the officer and transported to a laboratory where it will be tested to confirm that it is, in fact, heroin. The associated lab report will then be submitted as evidence in the case against you.
Aside from street drugs like heroin, many people are arrested and charged with being in possession of a prescription legend drug without having a prescription. For example, a doctor might prescribe a patient a drug such as Xanax, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Valium, Percocet, Suboxone, and so on. You can have these substances in Piscataway and throughout New Jersey, but only if they have been prescribed to you. If you do not have a prescription, you may be charged with a crime in violation of 2C:35-10.5.
Charged with Possession of CDS in Piscataway NJ
In conjunction with substance abuse education comes accountability through law enforcement. While police may be sympathetic with the perils that people young and old may face, they are bound to enforce the law and will arrest anyone who unlawfully possesses a controlled dangerous substance. Often, the charges that are filed in connection with drugs in Piscataway are for third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance. In actuality, possession of most substances (excluding marijuana and some prescriptions) are graded as third degree crimes. If convicted, you face 3-5 years in prison and up to $35,000 in fines.
Manufacturing, Distributing, and Dispensing Drugs in Piscataway
As mentioned, the weight of the drugs possessed increases the degree of the crime. Among the most serious cases are those involving first and second degree drug offenses such as manufacturing, distributing or possession with intent to distribute. The quantities are based on the overall weight of the controlled substance in a particular case. The grading of the crime is subsequently determined by the overall weight measured in grams, ounces, or pounds, or number of plants. As one might expect, the heavier the weight, the more serious the degree of the crime.
In more serious drug cases for second degree crimes, you can be sentenced to imprisonment for 5-10 years. The potential term of incarceration elevates to 10-20 years in first degree cases. These crimes are usually filed under the manufacturing or distributing section of the law (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5). This section also allows for third and fourth degree distribution charges to be filed against you if the evidence collected suggests that you were dealing but the specific amount of the drugs is relatively less.
Marijuana Possession in Piscataway NJ
Marijuana cases are unique and must be addressed specifically. For marijuana, if you are arrested and at the time you possess greater than 50 grams, you will be charged with a fourth degree crime and a maximum sentence of 18 months in state prison may be imposed in your case. However, if you possess less than 50 grams of marijuana, your case will be heard in Piscataway Municipal Court and for this disorderly persons offense, you may be subject to 6 months in the county jail. Other disorderly persons offenses associated with drugs include failure to turnover CDS to the police, possessing drug paraphernalia, and having a prescription not in the proper container.
Arrested for Drugs in Piscataway, What Happens Next?
When arrested for drugs in Piscataway, will receive a complaint outlining the nature of your offense and the degree of crime will be listed. If you have been charged with an indictable felony, you will be required to appear in Middlesex County Superior Court located at 56 Paterson Street in nearby New Brunswick. Conversely, if your complaint, summons, or notice requires you to appear in Piscataway Municipal Court at 55 Sidney Road, then you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense.
Sometimes, people are charged with both types of offenses. For example, you may possess less than 50 grams of marijuana, but may also have a small amount of heroin at the time of your arrest. If such is the case, all charges in connection with the single arrest will be heard in Middlesex County Superior Court, as this higher-level court controls the entire case. Even if you have traffic tickets associated with the same offense involving felony drug possession, for instance, driving under the influence of drugs or possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, they will be heard in Middlesex County Superior Court with the entire felony case.
Get Piscataway Drug Lawyer Defense Help
If you have been arrested for possession of CDS or other drug charges in Piscataway and are unsure about what to do next, contact us at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation. With years of experience handling drug possession and distribution charges in Piscataway and throughout Middlesex County, our lawyers are here to review your case with you, explain your rights, and ardently defend your innocence.