Methamphetamine Distribution Lawyers in Passaic County
Methamphetamine distribution in New Jersey carries severe penalties and will result in indictable charges. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, it unlawful for a person to knowingly or purposely manufacture, distribute or dispense, or possess or have under his or her control with the intent to distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance or controlled dangerous substance analog. Methamphetamine, which is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Controlled Substances Act, is specifically distinguished under the statutes provisions. The penalties a defendant may face will be dependent upon the amount of methamphetamine distributed and can result in a crime in the first, second or third degree. Section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(2) also provides for a felony charge to distribute counterfeit methamphetamine. If you were arrested and are facing indictment because it is alleged that you distributed or conspired to distribute meth, we can help. Our highly experienced criminal defense team is ready to fight for you and make sure you are afforded every opportunity to avoid a conviction and/or the penalties associated with a conviction. We are available 24/7 at 862-203-4070 for free initial consultation. Give us a call. We have extensive experience in all courts in Passaic County including Totowa, Wanaque, Paterson, Passaic City, Little Falls, Haledon and Hawthorne.
Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing Methamphetamine
What is Methamphetamine Distribution?
For the State to prove that the defendant “manufactured, distributed or dispensed” methamphetamine, evidence must be presented that: 1) the defendant possessed a controlled dangerous substance (i.e. methamphetamine) or its analog, AND 2) the defendant either manufactured, dispensed or distributed the methamphetamine, AND 3) the defendant’s aforesaid actions were knowingly or purposely committed.
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(2) also provides statutory guidelines for “possession with intent to distribute” for individuals not caught in the actual act of distributing methamphetamine. Under this subsection, the State must prove that the defendant 1) possessed methamphetamine or at least had it in his/her control; AND 2) the defendant knew what he possessed was methamphetamine, AND 3) the defendant possessed the methamphetamine with an intent to distribute it.
With regard to possession under both sections, either actual or constructive possession is sufficient. Actual possession typically involves having physical custody, control or contact of an object. Constructive possession typically involves situations where there is no physical custody of the methamphetamine, but instead the defendant has knowledge of the methamphetamine and the ability to control it.
What is the Grade of Methamphetamine Distribution?
It will be a crime of the first degree if the Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), is in a quantity of five (5) ounces or more, including any dulterants or dilutants.
It will be a crime of the second degree if the Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), is in a quantity of one-half (1/2) ounce or more but less than five (5) ounces, including any adulterants or dilutants. It will be a crime of the third degree if the Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), is in a quantity of less than one-half (1/2) ounce, including any adulterants or dilutants.
What are the Penalties for Methamphetamine Distribution?
A conviction for a first degree offense carries a presumption of incarceration and a term of imprisonment between ten (10) and twenty (20) years, along with a fine up to $300,000. A conviction for a second degree offense also carries with it a presumption of incarceration and that term of imprisonment between five (5) and ten (10) years, as well as a fine up to $150,000. Lastly, a conviction for a third degree offense carries a presumption of non-incarceration, but can carry a term of incarceration upwards of five (5) years, along with a $75,000.00 fine.
It is important to remember that depending the on underlying circumstances (i.e. third degree charges only) and the defendant’s prior record, the defendant may be eligible for a diversionary program like Pre-Trial Intervention. If the defendant is eligible and is admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, the defendant will have the opportunity to avoid a felony criminal record if he or she successfully completes the program.