New Jersey drug charges become substantially more serious, and the penalties substantially harsher, if you are found with enough of a controlled dangerous substance for law enforcement to conclude that you possessed drugs with the intent to sell or distribute them to others. Even obtaining drugs to share among friends can expose you to this type of serious charge. Our experienced Edison drug lawyers provide some background on intent to distribute charges in Middlesex County, along with an explanation of some of the potential defenses that may be used to have these charges reduced or dismissed.
What a Prosecutor Must Prove for Intent to Distribute Drugs in Middlesex County, NJ
Under the relevant New Jersey statute, NJRS 2C:35-5, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or to possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or analog of a controlled dangerous substance.
Prosecutors can establish that you have an intent to distribute drugs based on the packaging in which they find the drugs (a large quantity of drugs divided up into small, individual use baggies for example), the amount of cash you have on hand when you are caught with the drugs, the quantity and quality of the drugs in question, any additional weighing scales or packaging equipment that they find, and a number of other factors. The state can put on expert witnesses, usually experienced narcotics officers, who will testify regarding each of these factors and how they indicate that you possessed the drugs with the intent to distribute them to others. Prosecutors may also introduce any admissions that you may have made to the officers who found the drugs to establish that you intended to distribute.
Legal Consequences if Convicted of Intent to Distribute CDS
Possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances like heroin, meth, cocaine, and even marijuana, is typically an indictable offense (an offense similar to a felony in other states). Indictable offense cases are handled in Superior Court, not in municipal court, and the stiff penalties involved can vary based on the type of drug found and the quantity of the drug in question. Penalties can range from 18 months of incarceration to 20 years, from tens of thousands of dollars in fines to hundreds of thousands.
Defenses to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance
The defenses that may apply to your intent to distribute prosecution can vary dramatically from case to case. An experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the facts of your case intimately can advise you on the specific defenses you may have for these serious drug charges. For example, our attorneys may argue that the drugs in question belonged to someone else, that the evidence recovered did not in fact contain a controlled dangerous substance, or that there is insufficient evidence to establish that you were not planning to simply maintain possession of the drugs for your own personal use. When going through the evidence in your case, we may find issues with probable cause for the search of your vehicle, an invasion of your home without a warrant, or another violation of your constitutional rights that makes everything police obtained thereafter simply unusable in court.
Edison Intent to Distribute Drug Lawyer Needed
It goes without saying that if you are charged with possession of CDS with intent to distribute, you should consult a qualified criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible moment. Getting someone who knows the law inside and out to review your case is the first vital step toward achieving a positive outcome. Call (732) 659-9600 for a free case review of your drug distribution charges in Piscataway, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Monroe, South Amboy, Cranbury, or New Brunswick. A drug attorney at our criminal defense firm in Edison, NJ, can provide a thorough explanation of the possible defenses that may apply given the unique facts of your case.