Drug Possession Attorneys in Kearny, NJ
Anyone found to be in possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in Kearny, New Jersey, without a valid prescription for said substance, will be charged with either an indictable offense or a disorderly persons offense. Regardless of whether you were found in possession of a small amount of marijuana, one bag of heroin, or a single tiny Oxycontin pill, you are facing a criminal record and serious consequences. The list of prohibited substances is vast in New Jersey, spelling serious repercussions for those arrested for drugs. The type of drug offense you are charged with and the ensuing penalties, depend upon the drugs possessed. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your drug charges in Kearny, our lawyers have extensive backgrounds in criminal law and a commitment to fight for you. Contact us 24/7 at our Hudson County office for immediate assistance in a free consultation. You can reach us online or by calling (201) 793-8018.
Kearny NJ Charges for Controlled Dangerous Substances
New Jersey, similar to the Federal Government, lists controlled dangerous substances on a series of five schedules. The schedules set forth the type of substances that are prohibited or allowed solely for those who receive a prescription from a licensed practitioner, and lists them according to the potential for abuse, dependency, and whether there is any medical use for the substance or if it must be administered under the doctor’s care, to name a few.
For example, both marijuana and heroin are listed as Schedule I controlled dangerous substances because they have a high potential for abuse and other qualities recognized as potentially dangerous and addictive. Schedule II substances may also have a high potential for abuse and lead to “severe psychic or chemical dependency.” Some of the more well-known substances listed on Schedule II are opium/opiates, cocaine, fentanyl, and methadone. Similarly, Schedules III through V lists substances such as methamphetamine, phenobarbital and codeine.
In Kearny, some drugs are more commonly found to be illegally possessed than others. The substances resulting in felony drug charges in Kearny include:
- Marijuana in quantities of 50 grams or more
- Cocaine; and
Synthetic marijuana (including the newly popular THC in a vape pen offenses)
More often than not, the drugs that you possess will result in a felony charge. The common exception to this involves marijuana when less than 50 grams is in your possession.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor Drug Possession in Kearny NJ
If you are charged in Kearny with an indictable (felony) offense for possessing a controlled substance listed in one of the drug schedules, you will be required to appear in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court in Hudson County. The only exception is if you possessed less than 50 grams of marijuana, in which case you will be charged with a disorderly persons offense your case will be sent to the Kearny Municipal Court to be heard. Possession of greater than 50 grams of marijuana or possession of heroin, cocaine, MDMA, LSD, fentanyl, codeine, and benzodiazepines or synthetic marijuana will be charged as indictable crimes.
In most cases, aside from possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, the drug possessed is an indictable crime which requires you court appearance in the Superior Court of Hudson, Criminal Part located at 595 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306. At the beginning of the case, you will be notified of the charges against you and you can either be held or released pending trial. Generally with offenses involving drug possession, you will be released on your own recognizance or released from jail under certain conditions until your next court appearance. It is important to retain an attorney immediately who can argue for your release if the prosecutor does seek to have you detained until your case is complete. These cases can take months to complete and no one wants to await a resolution while in county jail custody.
If, however, you are charged with possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, or failure to turnover drugs, the matter will be considered a disorderly persons offense. Misdemeanor drug offenses are heard in Kearny Municipal Court located at 404 Kearny Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032. While a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, it is still crucial that you seek representation because you can be sentenced to as much as 6 months in jail, among other serious penalties, if convicted.
Facing Kearny NJ Drug Charges, What are the Consequences?
Felony CDS offenses are broken down by degree and they are either 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree offenses. Each degree carries a potential state prison sentence as well as monetary fines and penalties. Most drug cases are lower level third and fourth degree crimes that have a potential for substantial jail time if convicted. For example, if convicted of fourth degree possession of marijuana, you could go to jail for between 12 and 18 months. Most other CDS cases (aside from distribution cases) are third degree crimes that, if convicted, will allow the court to sentence you to state prison for 3-5 years. Additionally, you must pay a Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty (DEDR) of $500 for disorderly persons offense, $750 for fourth degree offenses, and $1,000 for third degree offenses. Unfortunately, the fines do not end there, as the New Jersey Legislature has authorized courts to give you a discretionary fine of up to $35,000 in felony cases.
Possessing substances such as LSD, Xanax, Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, are all third degree crimes, unless you possess a larger quantity. Possessing larger amounts of CDS can be categorized as possession with intent to distribute or distribution, meaning the drug is not intended for personal use. If you possess larger amounts, specifically half an ounce or more, you will likely have the misfortune of being charged with a second degree crime. These charges have a presumption of prison of between 5 and 10 years.
Hire a Lawyer to Defend Your Kearny NJ Drug Case
If you have been charged with Drug Possession or intent to distribute in Kearny, you need an experienced criminal attorney who can look for mistakes made by the police or possible defenses. Our criminal law office has extensive experience handling these matters and will be there with you every step of the way. To receive personalized guidance and assistance from a Kearny NJ drug defense lawyer at Proetta & Oliver, call (201) 793-8018 today. Consultations are available around the clock, free of charge.