Drug Possession Defense in Bayonne NJ
Gone are the days in which marijuana was the most popular drug, heroin users were relegated to vacant buildings in urban environments, and cocaine reserved for the affluent. Nowadays, drugs are everywhere, particularly in large cities like Bayonne, New Jersey. Virtually everyone knows at least one person who regularly or periodically uses a controlled dangerous substance. Whether it is you, your mother, brother, uncle, friend, or someone else, charges for drug possession (also known as Possession of CDS), can happen to anyone accused of possessing illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and MDMA, or legal prescription drugs that require a valid prescription for possession and use, such as Xanax, Percocet, and Oxycontin.
In New Jersey, most cases involving drug possession are charged as indictable felony offenses. These are the most serious offenses that you can be charged with under the NJ Criminal Code of Justice, and anyone who is convicted can suffer severe consequences beyond their immediate control. The long-term repercussions of a drug conviction can also be devastating for you financially, interpersonally, and professionally. If you have been charged with drug possession in Bayonne, don’t risk the results of a bad outcome. Contact the local Bayonne drug possession lawyers at Proetta & Oliver to discuss your specific situation and receive a free consultation. We are available online or by phone at (201) 793-8018 day and night to assist you.
Charges for Drug Possession under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 in Bayonne, New Jersey
New Jersey makes it illegal to possess substances listed in Drug Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. These drugs are known as controlled dangerous substances (CDS), encompassing both illegal narcotics and medications that can be prescribed by a physician. Some of the more well-known substances subject to drug possession charges are entirely illegal to possess by law. For example, heroin, cocaine, synthetic marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, acid (LSD), and hash are all banned substances in NJ. If you are caught with any of these drugs, you will be charged with a felony crime.
Unlike illegal narcotics, prescription legend drugs may be possessed if you have a valid prescription in your name from a licensed practitioner. Notably, these prescriptions must be possessed in the proper container. Think of anything that a doctor would or could prescribe, such as painkillers, benzodiazepines, sedatives, and stimulants like Adderall. These substances are ones that you can have on you as long as you have a valid prescription. If you had a prescription in the past and no longer do, you cannot have any of these pills or dosage units in your possession. Similarly, if your mom gives you a Xanax from her pill bottle or you take someone else’s Oxycodone pill, you may be charged with a third or fourth degree crime if caught with the drugs in your possession. If arrested for prescription drug possession, you will most often be charged with an indictable crime.
What degree of crime is drug possession in Bayonne?
Most drug possession charges are third degree indictable felony offenses. If charged, your case will be heard in the Hudson County Superior Court located at 595 Newark Avenue in Jersey City. If convicted of a third degree crime for possession of a controlled dangerous substance in Bayonne, the court has various options when sentencing. Worst case scenario, you could be sent to state prison for 3-5 years and come out with a criminal record as a convicted felon. Additionally, for third degree illegal possession a drug, you are exposed to $35,000 in fines, a $1,000 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty, potential forfeiture of your driver’s license for as long as two years, a $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $50 Victims of Crime Agency fee, and a $30 Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund Penalty.
Third degree charges for drug possession are common in Bayonne. For instance, Bayonne, much like everywhere else in New Jersey, has been hard hit by heroin addiction and deaths due to overdoses. In fact, in 2018, Bayonne was ranked number thirty for the top New Jersey towns with the most heroin abuse. In many of these cases, people suffering from addiction are arrested and charged with drug possession for illegally possessing heroin.
Although third degree crimes are the leading form of drug possession charges, some possession cases are graded at lower degrees. Specifically, a select few drugs can lead to either fourth degree crimes or disorderly persons offenses for possession of CDS. For example, synthetic marijuana is a fourth degree crime that can land you in prison for 12-18 months and empty your pockets to the tune of $10,000 in fines, as well as a $750 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty and other mandatory fines and penalties. Fourth degree charges may also apply if you are found with THC in an electronic cigarette or vape pen.
Moreover, marijuana exists in a category all its own when it comes to drug possession in NJ. In fact, possession of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense if you have under 50 grams at the time of your arrest. If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense for possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, you will attend court at the Bayonne Municipal Court located at 630 Avenue C in Bayonne, New Jersey. Here, there is no chance of being sent to state prison but you can still be forced to serve time in the Hudson County Jail for up to 6 months. You may also be subject to a $500 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction penalty and up to $1,000 in other fines.
The above are examples of some of the more frequently charged crimes for drug possession in the city of Bayonne. That is not to say that you cannot be charged with first or second degree possession with intent to distribute if the drugs possessed are in larger quantities and higher weights. However, in most cases, a person usually possesses drugs in an amount consistent with personal use, thereby resulting in a complaint for a third degree crime.
Bayonne NJ Possession of CDS Attorneys
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to defending drug cases. Our attorneys review each case that we handle carefully, examining every facet of the evidence, and advising our clients on any available defenses or motions that can be filed to obtain a dismissal. Beyond evidentiary issues, we will guide you through every step of the legal process examining and pursuing possible resolutions that may suit your lifestyle, from obtaining substance abuse treatment while enrolled in the Drug Court Program, to getting the charges dismissed through completion of Pre-Trial Intervention Program requirements, to seeking a downgrade to municipal court. If you are facing drug charges for possession in Bayonne, contact our local criminal lawyers at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation today. We are highly experienced defense attorneys handling drug cases in Bayonne and throughout Hudson County, here to serve you.