Driving through, visiting, working, or living in North Bergen, New Jersey, you may have been picked up for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Drug possession charges are issued on a regular basis in North Bergen. In fact, in the last few years, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office has prosecuted high profile drug cases in North Bergen, some with the Office of Homeland Security, busting narcotics rings trafficking huge quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, some qualifying as the largest quantities of drugs or drug money in the history of the state. If you have been arrested for drug possession in North Bergen, it is highly advisable to seek knowledgeable legal counsel from an experienced lawyer who has successfully handled these cases before. The attorneys at Proetta & Oliver have vigorously defended numerous clients arrested for drug possession in Hudson County and New Jersey, many cases which arose in North Bergen. To speak with an experienced lawyer who can assist with your possession of CDS case, call our local offices at (201) 793-8018 or contact us online for an absolutely free consultation.
Charged with Possession of CDS in North Bergen NJ
Under New Jersey law, drug possession is defined as using, being under the influence or illegally obtaining a controlled dangerous substance (contained in Schedules I to V of the New Jersey Drug Schedules), whether original or counterfeit, excluding legitimately prescribed drugs. Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD and ecstasy, drugs with no medicinal value and high potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs include morphine, Vicodin and cocaine, which have some medicinal value, though a high potential for abuse. Fentanyl as painkiller falls into this category. Schedule III drugs are prescription drugs like codeine, Schedule IV drugs include drugs like Klonopin, and Schedule V drugs are many times sold over the counter.
Drug possession in North Bergen or elsewhere in New Jersey is punishable by potentially up to five years in prison and up to $35,000.00 in fines, depending on the specific drug involved. Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, however, is a disorderly persons offense punishable by up to 6 months in jail. In addition, possession of greater than 50 grams of marijuana may result in up to 18 months in prison. Notably, a good criminal defense attorney may be able to get a possession charge reduced to a lesser charge if you had under an ounce of a controlled substance and it’s your first offense. Other options may include Pre-Trial Intervention or Drug Court, depending on the specific crime charged and your criminal history.
Under New Jersey law, illegal manufacture, distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, or possessing same with the intent to distribute or dispense, is a first, second or third degree crime, depending on the substance and the amount (Schedule I, II, III, IV or V). These charges can include a fine of up to $500,000 in addition to 10 to 20 years in prison for those convicted at the higher end of the felony spectrum. Most notably, however, you don’t have to distribute or dispense a controlled substance to be charged with possession with intent to distribute. Possession alone is often enough to be charged.
Arrested for Drug Possession in North Bergen NJ
Route 23, the state highway that runs through northern New Jersey to the New York border, is known as “heroin highway,” which probably contributes to the growing drug possession trend in North Bergen. The 53-mile route is now routinely policed by law enforcement making drug arrests up and down the route, which occur nearly daily when northern New Jersey travel south to pick up drugs and return home, some of whom may be under the influence.
Not only heroin, but fentanyl, a synthetic opioid mixed into heroin to intensify the high, which was found in more than a third of heroin confiscated, floods the streets. Fentanyl is nearly 100 times as potent as heroin. A huge North Bergen fentanyl seizure recently yielded 45 kilograms or the equivalent of millions of lethal overdoses. Of the two arrested for possessing the drugs, one was sentenced to six years for possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and the other received 10 years for possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
Disorderly persons drug offenses arising in North Bergen are prosecuted in the North Bergen Municipal Court, while more serious drug charges for indictable crimes in violation of New Jersey’s controlled dangerous substance laws are handled by the Hudson County Superior Court.
Drug Possession Attorneys in North Bergen, New Jersey
Although drug treatment and diversion programs are sometimes available in lieu of incarceration in the court system, the response to drug-related charges on the enforcement side of the legal system is more aggressive pursuit and arrest. The Department of Public Safety and Hudson County Prosecutor’s office is tough on drug crime through expansive drug enforcement. Like the rest of New Jersey, police are cracking down on drug dealers and users in response to the enormous increase in drug overdoses. North Bergen is no exception to New Jersey’s toughest drug laws in the nation. Be sure to contact an experienced criminal lawyer serving clients throughout North Bergen if you have been charged with a drug possession offense. The attorneys at Proetta & Oliver are available immediately to assist you in a free consultation. Contact us at (201) 793-8018 to learn more.