Man holding a bag of cocaine or white powder

New Jersey Drug Possession Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with drug possession in New Jersey, you need our aggressive drug possession defense attorneys. Our lawyers are ready to help you determine and evaluate your legal options for pursuing the best outcome in your case.

At William Proetta Criminal Law, we offer comprehensive legal representation and are prepared to build a robust defense to help you avoid the potentially severe consequences of drug charges.

Contact us today for a free consultation that is totally confidential and comes without further obligations on your part.

Why You Need Our NJ Drug Possession Defense Lawyers

If you are facing any drug charges, you need a drug possession attorney in NJ. With an attorney from William Proetta Criminal Law, you can be confident you have a strong legal advocate to fight the possession charge. Our firm focuses exclusively on criminal defense with a straightforward approach. We offer clients the experience and knowledge it takes to effectively contest drug possession charges in New Jersey.

Because of the effects a possession conviction can have on your life, you need a skilled defense attorney to assist in all aspects of your case. From investigating the circumstances of your arrest to crafting the best strategy for your defense, the drug possession defense attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law are dedicated to helping you through a difficult time.

New Jersey Laws on Possession of Illegal Drugs

In New Jersey, possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) charges can include nearly all substances on the New Jersey Drug Schedules. Although some charges for drug possession are issued alone, they are often accompanied by other charges for possession of drug paraphernalia or driving under the influence (DUI). Addressing these charges requires assistance from an attorney.

A person found possessing a controlled dangerous substance is typically guilty of a crime of the third degree, which can result in a three to five-year prison sentence and up to a $35,000 fine. However, the penalties vary based on the type of drug and its measured weight when discovered by law enforcement.

Possession of marijuana is treated differently under the law. It is legal for adults over 21 in New Jersey to possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana. However, possessing more than 6 ounces is an offense that can result in a potential fine of up to $25,000 and 18 months in prison.
Because of the complexities and potential consequences of drug possession in New Jersey, it is critical to retain a lawyer for possession of drugs as soon as charges are brought so you have an advocate on your side from the start of the legal process.

Federal Drug Charges in New Jersey

In addition to the drug charges you may be facing in state court under New Jersey law, you may also be subject to federal drug charges. Federal criminal prosecutors may bring charges against you in federal criminal court under federal law, especially if the possession is related to a large drug-trafficking operation.

Prosecutors may obtain a substantial amount of evidence following an extensive investigation, which may be more difficult to overcome. Moreover, the federal penalties they may seek could be harsher, highlighting the need for an experienced drug possession lawyer who understands the New Jersey and federal court criminal justice systems.

Common Types of Drug Possession Charges in New Jersey

The three types of drug possession which may lead to charges are:

  • Actual possession – This occurs when law enforcement allegedly finds controlled substances on your person.
  • Constructive possession – Constructive possession occurs when a person knows of, has access to, and has some control over the drugs, although they are not in actual possession of them.
  • Joint possession – A joint possession charge assumes two or more individuals knew the illegal drugs were present and had some control over them.

Potential Penalties for a Drug Possession Conviction in New Jersey

The possible penalties you may face for drug convictions in New Jersey depend on the type and amount of drug in your possession and whether you have a criminal history. Some of the potential consequences of a conviction on drug possession charges include the following:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Significant fines
  • Forfeiture of personal property
  • The inability to secure employment
  • The inability to possess a firearm

Potential Defenses to Drug Possession Charges and Other Legal Strategies

An attorney for drug offenses from our law firm can help you understand the realities of the drug charges you are facing and work hard to obtain your best result. Our attorneys can develop a robust defense to your possession charges tailored to the facts and circumstances of your case. Some potential defenses to drug possession charges include:

  • The illegal substances were discovered in an illegal search, for example, one that lacked probable cause
  • The drugs in your possession were prescription drugs from your licensed physician
  • The substances in your possession were not controlled dangerous substances
  • You did not knowingly possess the drugs

Alternative Sentences for Drug Possession Crimes

Depending on your criminal history, you may be eligible for alternative sentences. For example, a Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) is a diversionary program for first-time offenders charged with possession of CDS. PTI offers dismissal of criminal charges following a probationary term. Alternatively, Drug Court may be available.

A drug possession attorney with experience handling the defense of drug charges is your best chance to avoid jail time through these alternatives if they’re available in your case.

What Should I Expect When Facing a Drug Possession Charge?

Although every case is different, a drug possession case typically proceeds as follows:

  • Service of warrant or arrest – If you are arrested for drug possession, call our attorneys immediately so you have legal representation. You’ll undergo drug testing. You may be released on your own recognizance or required to post bail.
  • First appearance and bail – Your first appearance is when you are formally charged and bail is set. Our attorneys can help you request the lowest possible bail or request that you be released on your own recognizance. The judge will request information about your history of drug use and may order you to a drug treatment program. They’ll set any conditions for pretrial release.
  • Pretrial procedure – Between the initial bail hearing and trial, your attorney will investigate the circumstances of the case and determine the best course of action for you, which may mean negotiating the charges down, striking a plea deal, or requesting a PTI.
  • Trial – Although most cases are resolved without a trial, a trial may be necessary. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney to build a robust case and represent you at trial is essential.

Get Legal Help Dealing with Your NJ Drug Possession Charges

At William Proetta Criminal Law, our drug possession attorneys have extensive experience assisting individuals charged with drug crimes in New Jersey. We stand ready to develop a solid legal defense and work to reduce your charges, have the charges dropped, or obtain the minimum possible sentence. We offer personalized legal services to help you navigate the New Jersey criminal court system.

If you need a “drug possession lawyer near me,” contact us today for a free initial consultation with our criminal defense lawyers.