Secaucus Drug Possession Attorney
Local Secaucus Drug Possession Lawyers
Have you been charged with possession of CDS in Secaucus, NJ? You cannot control the fact that you have been arrested for drug possession, but you can control who represents you in Hudson County Superior Court for indictable felony possession of CDS charges or in Secaucus Municipal Court for a disorderly person offense involving drugs. You have come to the right place for experience-driven defense representation in your criminal matter and we look forward to discussing the unique facts of your case. Please feel free to contact the local law office of William Proetta Criminal Law at (201)-793-8018 for answers and assistance in a free initial consultation and if you’d like to set up an appointment. For now, read below for a basic overview of possession of CDS offenses, how they often happen in Secaucus, and the sentences for various degrees of these crimes.
Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances – Criminal Charge Under N.J.S.A. 2c:35-10 in Secaucus
A controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is any drug listed or identified on any of the five schedules. Many of the drugs listed can be legally possessed with valid prescriptions, as they have some medicinal benefit to the prescribed patient. Others, however, have a high potential for abuse and cannot ever be prescribed no matter who you are. These are common street or illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy. To be charged with possession of CDS, it is not enough for the police to say that a drug was present. Instead, it must be alleged and proven that you constructively or actually possessed the substance and that you knew it was a controlled dangerous substance. Upon a finding that you possessed the items, the seriousness of the crime is determined by the type of substance present, where it falls on the five drug schedules, as well as the weight of the drug in play.
Just as there are various types of drugs, there are many available options in terms of punishment imposed by the court. The punishment or lack thereof depends on the potential dismissal of the charges, your entrance into a diversionary program, the nature of the agreement between you and the prosecutor, the finding of guilt after a trial, your criminal record, as well as the type of drug you allegedly possessed at the time of your arrest and the corresponding degree of crime. Drug possession crimes are further categorized as disorderly persons offenses or indictable offenses. Below is a list of commonly seen drug crimes and sentencing options that may be imposed by the court.
Secaucus Felony Drug Possession Charges
While some exceptions apply, technically anyone charged with possessing CDS listed on Schedules I, II,III, or IV can be charged with a third degree crime. Upon conviction, you can spend the next 3-5 years in prison, come out to pay $35,000 in fines, and be forced to pay a mandatory penalty of $1,000. If you are fortunate enough to forego state prison, you may go to county jail for 364 days and be placed on probation. Also, you face driver’s license suspension for 6 to 24 months. The substances allowing for such a sentence include: Heroin, Cocaine, Mushrooms, LSD, Methadone, Methamphetamine, PCP, Fentanyl, Ecstasy/MDMA/Molly, Synthetic Marijuana, Hash, Oxycodone, Percocet, Amphetamine, Ketamine, Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Darvocet, Steroids, Hydrocodone, Buprenorphine (Suboxone), and Morphine.
The above is not a complete list; nonetheless, it represents some of the most frequently reported drugs that lead to third degree criminal charges. If you possess the substances in larger quantities consistent with drug distribution, your charges may be elevated to second or first degree crimes under the N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. The possession statute penalizes personal use and does not pertain to drug distribution related offenses.
Not all drug possession offenses are third degree crimes. Substances noted on Schedule V and some of the drugs noted above possessed in lower doses are fourth degree crimes. Fourth degree crimes are the lowest level indictable criminal offenses in the State of New Jersey. They fall slightly under third degree offenses but are more serious than disorderly persons offenses. If found guilty in Hudson County Superior Court of a fourth degree offense, the judge can impose a $25,000 fine for marijuana offenses ($10,000 in other 4th degree crimes), 18 months in jail, a $750 DEDR penalty, and the possibility of county jail and/or probation up to 5 years. CDS falling in this category includes: Greater than 50 grams of marijuana but less than 1 ounce, Synthetic marijuana in an amount of less than one ounce, Hash when more than 5 grams, Less than 200 milligrams of codeine, Less than 100 milligrams of dihydrocodeine, Less than 100 milligrams ethylmorphine, Less than 2.5 milligrams diphenoxylate, Less than 100 milligrams opium, Five or more units or doses of prescription medications (oxycontin, xanax, diazepam, etc) under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5.
Disorderly Persons Cds Offenses in Secaucus
Disorderly persons offenses for CDS are non-felony offenses that are frequently heard in Secaucus Municipal Court. You will be charged with dp offenses for:
- Possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana
- Possessing prescription pills not in a proper container
- Possessing four or fewer doses of prescription legend drugs
- Possessing drug paraphernalia (i.e.straws, baggies, pipes, rubber bands, drugs, rolling papers, blotting paper, chore boys, etc.)
- Being under the influence of CDS
- Possessing four or fewer doses of prescription drugs N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5
- Possessing less than 5 grams of hash
- Failure to turnover CDS to police (this offense includes any CDS that you possessed but did not immediately give to police when you came into possession of the substance)
The charges listed above are not as serious as felony crimes, but a finding of guilt does allow for serious punishment. The penalties that you are facing if convicted of a disorderly persons drug charge are as follows: up to 6 months in jail, up to $1000 in fines, a mandatory $500 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty (DEDR), the possibility of probation only or probation and jail.
On a positive note, a charge for a disorderly persons offense will be placed on a summons instead of a warrant. A complaint in the form of summons prohibits police from taking you to jail without bail. Instead, you are given a date to attend municipal court. As long as you or your attorney continue to appear as directed, there is no possibility of being held in jail while the case is pending. However, there is one exception to this rule. For example, anyone charged with an indictable crime (felony) while simultaneously charged with a disorderly persons offense for the same event, is exposed to being held on a warrant complaint. If a warrant complaint is filed for a felony charge, you can be held in jail without bail, but not before the prosecutor submits a motion for detention, which a qualified criminal lawyer can aggressively defend against.
How Do People Get Charged With Drug Possession in Secaucus?
The Secaucus Police Department has affirmed its intention to zealously pursue and apprehend those committing crimes in the community. This includes conducting narcotics investigations on the local level and in conjunction with state and federal agencies who investigate drug crimes. As a result, officers frequently arrest individuals for possession of controlled dangerous substances and charge them with N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. Such arrests can take place anywhere, such as the plush Meadowlands, the parking lot of Mill Creek Mall off of Route 3, or along the turnpike after having traveled from or to neighboring towns throughout Hudson County.
In addition, motor vehicle stops are frequently the basis for finding substances and people being charged with disorderly persons offenses as well as indictable crimes. There is no magic has to how it happens as many times, we hear clients state that they were stopped for a driving offense, at which point the officer stated that he smelled marijuana and then searched the car. For instance, people in Secaucus have been stopped along Route 3 or referred to police by a citizen tipster who advised them of suspected drug sales in the North End of town. The initiation of the police interaction occurs by alleging a violation of the motor vehicle code, such as speeding, failing to keep right, tailgating, reckless driving, or any other violation of the New Jersey’s traffic code.
Can You Expunge CDS Possession in Secaucus?
Aside from the punishments above, you may experience the lingering effects of a conviction, as the offenses will become part of your criminal record. Indictable crimes and disorderly persons offenses are reflected on your criminal history and, as a result, show up on background checks. These offenses can cause a detour in your plans for college, employment, student loans, owning, possessing, or purchasing weapons, as well as where you will live. For some, expungement may be an option but you must wait at least several years for disorderly persons offenses and a minimum of 4 years (with compelling circumstances) for felony offenses. In some cases, you must wait ten years to expunge a felony. You can expunge the offense right away if the case is dismissed. Lastly, if the charges are dismissed after finishing PTI or conditional discharge, you become eligible to expunge the case 6 months thereafter.
Need a Drug Possession Defense Attorney in Secaucus
Have you been charged with drug possession in Secaucus? Was it cocaine, heroin, marijuana, meth, Molly, or prescription medications that you were found with? Whatever the case may be, the attorneys representing you must be vigilant and aggressive at the onset of the case in an effort to ward off maximum penalties and any conviction if at all possible. After all, all felony drug complaints permit state prison sentences upon conviction and even misdemeanor drug charges can be carried with you for years. Our attorneys have proven results in achieving outcomes such as acquittals, dismissals, downgrades, probationary sentences, or consequences involving fines only. Attorneys with a keen understanding of criminal law and the common tactics used by police know just what to look for in defending a possession case. Our office is available anytime you need a free consultation. Just contact (201)-793-8018 today.