Trenton Drug Charges Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Fight for Dismissals and Reduced Charges for Clients Facing Drug Charges in Mercer County and Throughout New Jersey
While not all persons arrested for drug charges in New Jersey end up in prison, getting arrested for drug-related crimes can have a serious impact on the rest of a person’s life. For instance, applications for jobs, college scholarships, housing, and other state or federal benefits might be turned down when they see a drug charge on a person’s criminal record.
That is why it is critical that you have aggressive legal representation on your side to help develop a strong, effective legal defense and fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case when facing criminal charges.
If you or a loved one are facing drug charges in New Jersey, contact the Trenton Drug Charges Lawyers at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC today to talk to one of the skilled, compassionate members of our legal team about your case and to learn more about your rights and options.
Facing Drug Charges in New Jersey
Drug Possession in New Jersey is illegal. Possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other controlled dangerous substances (illicit drugs) is punishable by imprisonment. Sentences can range anywhere from three to five years and fines up to $35,000.
However, there are legal strategies for fighting the consequences of drug charges in New Jersey. State laws permit offenders in drug possession cases who are deemed non-violent to avoid imprisonment and instead get treatment through rehabilitation. Depending on the facts of your case, the attorneys at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC may be able to get you into a diversionary or treatment program instead of being sentenced to prison. In some cases, it may even be possible to have drug possession charges cleared from your record.
In New Jersey, drug possession charges include possession, use, being under the influence of, or failure to dispose of controlled dangerous substances properly, except when the drugs were prescribed to you in a lawful way.
Specific Penalties for Drug Charges in New Jersey
Some people might think that a person charged with drug possession for the first time will not get a high penalty. However, this is not a likely outcome without the proper legal representation.
For possession of marijuana, even if it is only your first offense, you can get up to 18 months in prison and a fine of $500-15,000 depending on the amount of drugs found on you. You can also lose your driver’s license and be required to pay for your own drug rehabilitation.
For possession of narcotics or controlled dangerous substances, even if it is only your first offense, you can get anywhere from 3 to 5 years in prison and be fined $1,000-25,000 depending on the amount of drugs found on you. You can also lose your driver’s license, and you will likely have to undergo mandatory drug education and rehabilitation programs.
Narcotics or controlled substances include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, acid, ecstasy, GBH, and all other illegal narcotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, opiates or depressants.
New Jersey courts may also impose more severe penalties even for first-time drug possession offenses if the crime occurred within a school zone or inside a school bus, within the premises of a public housing project, or in a public park.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is also a crime in New Jersey. Even if the police did not find any drugs on you, you can still be charged with a crime if the police found any drug-related paraphernalia in your possession. A person found in possession of drug paraphernalia can be punished with up to 6 months of imprisonment and a fine of $500-$1,000, even if it is only your first offense. Your driver’s license could also be suspended for up to 2 years.
For second and subsequent drug possession offenses, the courts may double the penalties imposed.
Getting arrested or being indicted does not necessarily mean that the court will find you guilty. With effective and timely representation by the skilled and experienced legal team at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC, there are a number of ways we can help you to avoid severe penalties. If you are being charged with drug possession or another more serious drug offense in New Jersey, it is critical that we quickly get to work on your case. Each hour can make the difference in securing a favorable outcome. Call today.
Common Defenses Against Drug Charges
If you have been arrested for a drug crime, the qualified legal team at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC will work on effective ways to challenge the charges against you. Under New Jersey law, the prosecution is required to prove its case in order to obtain a conviction. However, there are a number of effective defense strategies to fight these charges.
Depending on the specific facts of your case, among some of the most effective defenses we can explore for a drug charge include:
- That you were not promptly and properly advised of your Miranda rights against self-incrimination
- That you were detained or arrested because of racial, ethnic, socio-economic or other profiling bias
- If you were identified through a police line-up, that you were identified to the police in a misleading manner, because you were made to take part in an improper line-up
- If you were arrested while driving a vehicle, that the police did not have probable cause to stop and search your motor vehicle
- And more
With Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC on your side, our attorneys will begin thoroughly investigating the facts and circumstances of your arrest. We may be able to have evidence seized from you excluded from the case where we can show that you were unlawfully stopped or searched by police; having evidence of drugs excluded from your case is one defense strategy that can lead to the dismissal of your charges.
Other Options Available After a New Jersey Drug Charge
Not all drug charges go to trial, and we will explore all aspects of the case to find and identify enough basis to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced, or to negotiate for a plea bargain before that time.
Under the New Jersey court system, there are two diversionary programs available for first-time offenders who are non-violent. The Drug Court offers the alternative of specialized probation with intensive supervision. The second is Pretrial Intervention (PTI), which requires the defendant to undergo court supervision for an average of 1 to 3 years.
There is also the Veterans Diversion program available to active and retired members of the military. Service members or retirees who are accused of nonviolent crimes and diagnosed with mental illness – or have exhibited symptoms of mental illness according to family members or friends – are eligible for this program. Under this program, veterans avoid trial and may ask that the charges be expunged from their records upon successful completion of the program.
Contact our Experienced New Jersey Drug Charge Defense Lawyers to Discuss your Options Today
If you have been arrested or facing drug charges anywhere in New Jersey, you need to act quickly to protect your rights, freedom, and future from the consequences of a conviction. Contact the trusted criminal defense attorneys at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC today and we will work immediately to prepare your case and protect your rights.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) About Drug Charges in New Jersey
A person found in possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, or 5 grams or less of hashish, without a prescription from a Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP), could be charged as a disorderly person in municipal court. This is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, or more than 5 grams of hashish, is classified as a fourth-degree offense. The offender can be punished by up to 18 months in prison, and be fined up to $25,000.
In New Jersey, there are two diversionary programs available for first-time offenders who are non-violent, which are Drug Court and Pretrial Intervention (PTI).
Drug Court offers an alternative via specialized probation with intensive supervision. Drug Court participants are required to undergo frequent drug testing and court appearances, and to complete a 12-step treatment program. Participants can benefit from counseling and other opportunities for assistance in job training, education, and health care.
PTI defendants will be under court supervision for 1 to 3 years. PTI participants may also be directed to undergo psychological, drug, or alcohol tests, submit to random urine tests, and be required to undergo a rehabilitation program.