Hunterdon County Drug Possession Lawyer Providing Ardent Advocacy for Residents Charged with Possession of Controlled Substances
New Jersey’s laws on drug possession make it a crime to possess marijuana, heroin, morphine, Percocet, and many other Schedule I through Schedule V drugs. If convicted of possession, jail time is usually in years, not months. Penalties can be thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars. Guilty pleas and guilty verdicts can damage a person’s reputation and ability to get a job or advance in their career. Defendants with a prior record will face additional jail sentences and penalties.
Holding the police and the prosecution to their duties to defendants
At Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., our lawyers have been fighting for the accused since 1960. The attorneys at Aiello Harris are made up of former county and municipal prosecutors. We handle each case as though it were going to a jury trial. Our lawyers guide clients through each phase of the case, from the initial arrest to the bail hearing, the preliminary hearing, suppression of evidence motions, plea bargain negotiations, and jury trials. In many cases, our Hunterdon County criminal lawyers have successfully had evidence obtained through illegal searches thrown out. We have often had charges dismissed because of not-guilty verdicts or because the prosecution/judge saw that there was not a case.
Types of drug possession charges
New Jersey has different drug possession charges depending on the amount of drugs found and the type of drugs in a defendant’s possession. Most drug crimes involving possession of controlled substances are treated as 3rd-degree or 4th-degree offenses. The different types of drug possession charges in New Jersey are:
- Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana -This offense can result in up to six months in jail, a fine of $1000, and the requirement that the defendant undergo drug treatment. It can also mean the loss of the accused driver’s license. Possession of more than 50 grams is a 4th-degree offense, which can include 18 months in jail and $15,000 in fines.
- Possession of controlled and dangerous substances – These substances include heroin, cocaine, acid, opiates, stimulants, depressants, and other Schedule I through Schedule IV drugs, possession of which is treated as a 3rd-degree offense. Defendants may be imprisoned for up to five years and fined up to $25,000.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia – Like possession of a small amount of marijuana, defendants caught with any equipment or materials use to make, use, or hide drugs face up to six months in jail, fines between $500 and $1000, and a loss of license for up to two years.
- Simple possession of unauthorized prescription drugs – This is treated as a 3rd-degree crime, which can carry stiff sentences (up to five years in jail) and large fines. Many people think there is no harm in taking or having a prescription drug – but they are wrong. Using unauthorized prescriptions to get through an exam or to deal with stress is illegal.
- Possession of Schedule V drugs. This is a 4th-degree indictable offense. While less serious than 3rd-degree offenses, if convicted a defendant faces up to 18 months in jail and fines up to $10,000.
In some possession cases, defendants may be eligible to have their case processed through a New Jersey drug court where the focus is on treating the underlying drug dependencies. These courts are alternatives to jail but require extensive drug education and monitoring.
Possible drug possession defenses
Our Hunterdon county possession of controlled substance lawyers represent anyone in Milford, Stockton, Clinton, and the surrounding towns who is accused of any type of drug possession offense.
Some of the many defense arguments we make include asserting that:
- The drugs were illegally seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
- The defendant was forced to incriminate himself/herself in violation of the Fifth Amendment
- Any evidence of constructive possession of the drugs is purely speculative
- The drugs belonged to someone else
- The chain of custody of the drugs was broken
In every criminal case, the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Talk to the Hunterdon County firm that has experience prosecuting and defending drug possession charges
Prompt representation can make all the difference in your case. Our Hunterdon County drug possession lawyers work to get defendants released on bail so they can better defend themselves. The lawyers at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. contest every aspect of the prosecution’s case, including the admission of evidence and the credibility of witnesses. Because many of our defense lawyers have tried cases before juries—as prosecutors and defense lawyers – we have the experience you need. For help now, please phone us at (908) 561-5577 or make an appointment by using our contact form.