New Brunswick Methamphetamine Offense Lawyer
Criminal Attorneys for Possession & Distribution of Methamphetamine in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Methamphetamine is a dangerous chemical substance that is gaining popularity in New Jersey and across the country. Since public officials have recognized that this synthetic drug causes brain damage, mental health issues, sleeplessness, hallucinations, and even death, state lawmakers strictly forbid the substance in our state. In fact, there are major penalties for anyone caught possessing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine in New Jersey. If you find yourself arrested and charged with a crystal meth or meth-related drug offense in Middlesex County, seeking help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer should be among your top priorities. Our attorneys are well-versed in the laws and strategies that can be used to effectively defend against meth charges. With local offices in Edison, we frequently appear in Middlesex County Superior Court on behalf of clients charged with meth possession and distribution in New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Carteret, East Brunswick, Metuchen, Old Bridge, Piscataway, and nearby communities. To discuss your case with a member of our team, give us a call at (732) 659-9600 or start a chat to receive a free consultation.
Methamphetamine: Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance
Methamphetamine is generally used as a recreational drug. Use of the drug substantially impacts the central nervous system, causing a chemically-induced high. It is generally warned against due to its potential for abuse and toxicity to the brain. In its purest form, the chemical is a free base that creates euphoric results among recreational drug users. However, the harmful effects of abusing methamphetamine far outweigh the initial euphoria. The damage to the body ranges from minor impacts to severe. For example, methamphetamine potentially causes mood swings, increased energy, delusions, violence, hallucinations, increased libido, paranoia, muscle break- down, seizures, bleeding in the brain, and psychosis.
Due to the combination of pleasure and dependency/addictive properties, both the Federal and New Jersey Governments make it illegal to possess this substance. In New Jersey, all drugs that are illegal to possess are listed on “Schedules.” The controlled substances within these schedules are ranked based on their addictive properties, potential for abuse, and medical value. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance, which means that it has little medicinal value but has a high potential for abuse. For this reason, under title 35 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, possession of any amount of meth is a felony (indictable crime).
Possession of Methamphetamine in New Jersey
For methamphetamine, the degree of the crime depends on the amount possessed. Indictable crimes rank in terms of severity from 1st through 4th degree. Anyone charged with such an offense will have their case heard in the County Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. What happens in court depends, not only on the facts of the case, but on the degree of the charges as well. Possessing lower amounts of meth for personal use results in third degree charges for simple possession under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.
Even possessing one small rock of meth, or a tiny crystal or amount, however minuscule, will give rise to a third degree possession charge. For this crime, you face up to $35,000 in fines, a possible prison term of three to five years, and a mandatory drug penalty (DEDR) of $1,000.
Methamphetamine Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution in NJ
Possessing larger quantities of methamphetamine (heavier weight) will likely result in possession with intent to distribute or distribution charges under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. Manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing meth is a serious crime, the degree of which is also determined by the amount of the substance involved. Specifically, having more than one-half ounce of meth will subject you to charges for a second degree crime and equally harsh punishment. If it is proven that you possessed one-half ounce but less than 5 ounces of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, a conviction under this section means that the court can sentence you to 5-10 years in state prison, a DEDR penalty of $2,000, and additional fines amounting to $150,000.
Possessing more than 5 ounces of methamphetamine with intent to distribute (or distribution of the drug), exposes you to 10-20 years in state prison, $300,000 in fines, and a $3,000 DEDR penalty. Also, a charge of distribution or possession with intent to distribute meth can be lodged if you have less than one-half ounce and it appears that the amount possessed was intended for sale, as opposed to personal use. A third degree crime under this provision exposes you to a fine up to $75,000.
Additional Consequences for Meth Drug Offenses in New Jersey
Those convicted of first and second degree crimes face presumptions of state prison, which means that the court is mandated to impose a prison sentence upon a finding of guilt. Third and fourth degree crimes are considered less serious and, if you have no prior offenses, there is a presumption against state prison. Regardless of the degree of the crime in a specific methamphetamine case, all defendants face a mandatory suspension of their driver’s license for a period ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
Aside from the basic penalties, criminal convictions have ancillary consequences that can far outlast any jail time. For instance, having a conviction on your record may thwart employability, prevent you from renting in your desired location, and even limit the availability of student loans.
Edison Methamphetamine Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested and charged with methamphetamine in Middlesex County, New Jersey, you should be informed about all potential consequences of the specific meth= charges in your case, as well as the available outcomes. Do not go to court blind or simply hoping for the best. Be informed and armed with the knowledge and skill of a Middlesex Methamphetamine Defense Attorney. Our lawyers have the information and criminal defense background you need to stay ahead of the curve. Contact us to discuss your case and possible representation at (732) 659-9600 today. We provide free consultations.