Passaic County Drug Possession Lawyers
Drug convictions, even those related to simple possession of a controlled substance, can have a negative impact on your life and your future. Drug possession charges can lead to jail time, fines and can limit your ability to get a job, rent a place to live, or qualify for a loan.
At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our Paterson drug possession defense lawyers offer aggressive representation on behalf of clients facing marijuana, heroin and other controlled substance charges in Passaic County courts.
The highly skilled criminal defense attorneys at our law firm have a track record of success in representing clients arrested for drug possession charges in Paterson and elsewhere in Passaic County. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience dealing with a wide range of criminal cases and offer unique qualifications to represent clients effectively, including:
- 10 attorneys who concentrate exclusively on criminal defense
- Certified criminal trial attorneys, a designation made by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to recognize attorneys with specialized knowledge of an area of law
- Defense lawyers who previously served as county and municipal prosecutors, public defenders, and who served as directors of the Major Crimes Bureau, Special Operations, Domestic Violence Unit, Guns Task Force, and even an entire Trial Division.
- A record that includes many criminal trials ending in dismissals
- Around-the-clock availability to respond to your need for legal representation.
As former prosecutors and skilled defense lawyers, we know the law and the Passaic County criminal justice system. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you combat charges relating to drug possession under N.J.S.A.2C:35-10, possession of drug paraphernalia, or other drug charges.
Our attorneys defend clients charged with drug offenses throughout Passaic County, including towns such as Wayne, Hawthorne, Little Falls, Passaic City, Paterson and Prospect Park. If you would like the opportunity to speak to a Paterson drug possession defense lawyer immediately, call us today at (877) 450-8301 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Aggressive Defense Against Drug Possession Charges in Paterson, N.J.
Whether you have been charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin or another controlled substance, you need a lawyer with an intimate knowledge of drug laws and the criminal justice process stemming from related arrests.
As former prosecutors who have litigated countless 2C:35-10 controlled dangerous substance (“cds”) cases in Passaic County, our seasoned defense attorneys have the knowledge to help you mount the most aggressive drug possession defense possible. Here is a list of the most common drug-related charges issued in Passaic County:
- Cocaine Charges
- Drug Distribution within 500 Feet of Public Park
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Heroin Offenses
- Maintaining a Drug Production Facility
- Methamphetamine Distribution
- Marijuana Charges
- Prescription Drug Offenses
- Possession of CDS
- Possession of Steroids
- Failure to Turn over CDS
- Drug Distribution in School zone
- Possession of CDS in Motor Vehicle
- Leader of Drug Trafficking Network
- Synthetic Marijuana
- Under the Influence of Drugs
Mounting a Strong Defense by Carefully Examining Your Situation
To help you mount the most effective defense possible, we will conduct a thorough examination of your charges, the events leading to your arrest, and the actions of police during and after your arrest. Any information found during our investigation can then be used to apply pressure on the prosecution to reduce or dismiss your charges.
This evidence gathered in our investigation can also be invaluable in proving your case during a trial. We will look for opportunities to seek pretrial intervention or conditional discharge when the facts warrant and make your strongest case for admission into one of these programs.
Useful information can be gained from the following types of inquiries:
- What were the reasons behind your initial stop?
- Did officers conduct a legal search?
- Were all police procedures adhered to throughout the investigation and after your arrest?
- Were any of your rights violated during or after your arrest?
- Can the officers truly prove that the controlled substance was in your personal possession?
Passaic County NJ Drug Charges Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for drug possession in Passaic County, do not speak to the police without an attorney present to advise you. Don’t help the police make their case against you by answering their questions or giving a statement. Any statement you make to police may be used against you.
To help protect your future against unnecessary damage caused by a controlled dangerous substance conviction, you need a Paterson drug possession defense lawyer that understands New Jersey drug laws and can offer insight into Passaic County courts, judges, and prosecutors. Before speaking to the police about your charges, call toll free (877) 450-8301 to speak with one of our highly qualified lawyers. The information you gain during your free consultation can make all the difference to your future.
Understanding Illegal Drug Possession
Drug possession refers to the possession of drugs that are illegal or are controlled substances that are not prescribed to the individual in possession of them. The possession of illicit, or controlled, substances is a crime because these drugs may cause harm to those using them or to others. Examples of illegal drugs in New Jersey include heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, among others.
Types of Drug Possession Charges
The penalties for drug possession vary according to the type of drug and the amount in your possession. Most drug possession charges in New Jersey are treated as 3rd-degree or 4th-degree offenses.
Potential Penalties for Drug Possession
The different types of drug possession charges and their potential penalties, if convicted, include:
- Possession of Less Than 50 Grams of Marijuana – You can face a disorderly persons offense for possession of a small amount of marijuana. This drug possession charge is often heard in municipal court. A conviction can lead to a sentence of up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, loss of your driver’s license, and drug rehabilitation. You don’t want a drug conviction for possession of a small quantity of marijuana to adversely affect your future. Call an experienced Paterson marijuana defense lawyer.
- Possession of More Than 50 Grams of Marijuana – You can face a fourth-degree criminal offense, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Possession of Narcotics or Controlled Dangerous Substances – This includes heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy, and other illegal narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants, opiates, or depressants. An individual may face three to five years in prison, a fine of $1,000 to $25,000, loss of driver’s license, and mandatory rehabilitation and drug education programs.
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – This charge carries up to six months in prison, a fine of $500 to $1,000, and a driver’s license suspension 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 possessing a prescription drug, but they are wrong. Using unauthorized prescription medications 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 not as serious as 3rd-degree offenses, if convicted, you could face up to 18 months in jail and fines up to $10,000.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
Drug possession with intent to distribute is a major criminal offense and typically carries a mandatory prison sentence, impacting your entire future. In New Jersey, charges of actual distribution and the intent to distribute drugs are treated identically. It is illegal to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under your control with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance. It is also illegal to create, distribute, or possess or have under your control with intent to distribute a counterfeit controlled substance.
Drug Possession Defense Strategies in Passaic County
If you are accused of drug possession in Passaic County, the burden of proof lies with the state. Prosecutors have to prove that an illegal drug was in your possession or among your belongings, that you knew you had the drug, and that you knew the drug was illegal. Depending on the circumstances of your case, our lawyers may be able to help you get approved for drug treatment or counseling rather than face incarceration.
The following are some common types of defense that are permissible in court and may be used to fight the drug possession charges and protect your liberty.
Unlawful search and seizure
When a search or seizure takes place, it must be a lawful one. According to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, only evidence found through lawful search and seizure can be used as evidence in court.
In most cases, law enforcement officers are careful to avoid entrapment, but it still happens. Entrapment cases involve proving that a police officer or an informant caused or induced the defendant to break the law.
The drugs belong to someone else
If the drugs were found in a place where the true ownership of the drugs could be contested, it is possible to mount a successful defense that the illegal substances were not yours. For instance, the drugs may have been found in your apartment that you share with a roommate.
An attorney will help you make sure that the prosecution is not making assumptions. Just because the substance found looks like heroin, for example, does not mean that it is. The prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance is what they say it is.
Evidence in drug cases often passes through a number of hands before landing in the evidence locker. This increases the chances that such evidence can be mishandled or lost. If the prosecutors cannot produce the alleged drugs and provide a proper chain of custody, it is possible that the court will throw out the case.
What to Expect When Facing Drug Possession Charges
If you have been charged with drug possession in Passaic County, you do not have to face the charges alone. Each year, thousands of people in New Jersey are arrested on drug charges. The severity of the charges varies greatly. Some people are arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana, while other arrests are for manufacturing and distributing large quantities of methamphetamines or other illegal drugs.
Being convicted of drug possession or intent to distribute can have a significant impact on your life. It’s important to understand that there is a major difference between possession charges and possession with intent to distribute. A drug possession charge means that one is potentially using drugs. These charges can be treated with rehabilitative services, such as addiction treatment and counseling. Possession with intent to distribute tends to get more attention from the police and prosecutors because it’s a far more serious charge.
Regardless of the type of drug charge you are facing, you will need a strong legal defense to answer the charges against you. No one needs a drug conviction on his or her record if it can be prevented. If you are acquitted of drug charges, you don’t have to worry about jail time or what effect your criminal record will have on your life. If you have been charged with drug possession in Passaic County, discuss your legal options with an experienced Paterson drug possession criminal attorney before making any decisions.
Benefits of Hiring a Passaic County Attorney
When you choose a Passaic County criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Jonathan Marshall to represent you, you’ll have an experienced advocate on your side. Everything a criminal defense lawyer does is for the benefit of you and your drug possession case. Our attorneys will put their considerable skills, knowledge, and resources to work seeking a favorable resolution of your case.
Not only do lawyers understand New Jersey criminal law, but they also understand how the prosecution works. They understand that drug possession charges tend to not be as high of a priority as some other types of cases. Exceptional attorneys will use that to their advantage to see if they can work out some sort of a deal.
Below is a list of some ways a Passaic County drug possession defense lawyer can help:
- Protect your legal rights
- Represent you in all aspects of your drug possession case
- Answer any questions you may have and address your concerns
- Put together the best legal strategies for building your defense
- Collect and analyze evidence in your case
- Identify any prosecution errors and violations of your rights
- Negotiate with prosecutors to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether
- Prepare your case for court
- Defend you at trial
Contact a Passaic County Drug Possession Lawyer Today
Fighting a drug possession charge in Passaic County can be very stressful. A lot of paperwork, court dates, and legal terminology is involved. You are up against prosecutors whose mission is to prove you are guilty and get a conviction.
Don’t try to navigate the Passaic County court system by yourself. When your future is in jeopardy, you need a trusted Paterson drug possession defense lawyer. Our team at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is here to help. If you have been charged with drug possession in Passaic County, contact our criminal defense lawyers today at (877) 450-8301 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.