Woodbridge Drug Possession Attorney
Charged with Drug Possession in Woodbridge, NJ
You can be arrested for drug possession in Woodbridge, New Jersey, under a multitude of circumstances. Drug possession is technically known as possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), which you will see on the summons you were issued by police. One of the most common drug charges in Woodbridge is possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, also known as simple possession of marijuana. New Jersey law provides a specific definition for the term “possession,” and it’s important to understand what possession of CDS actually means under NJ Law. Continue reading for more information about your charges if you have been charged with drug possession in Woodbridge, NJ.
Accused of CDS Possession in Woodbridge, What does it Mean?
The relevant New Jersey statute that criminalizes drug possession (NJ Rev Stat § 2C:35-10) states that it is illegal for any person to knowingly or purposely possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance unless they have a valid prescription. There are two types of possession recognized under the law: actual possession and constructive possession. You should know and understand the elements of each type of possession and how it applies to your Woodbridge drug case.
Arrested with Drugs in Woodbridge, New Jersey
New Jersey law defines actual possession as knowing what the relevant item is—here a controlled dangerous substance—and having intentional control of that item. Prosecutors must establish a high probability, or practical certainty, that you were aware that the item you intentionally had in your control was a controlled dangerous substance (like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, and the like).
For example, if police find that you have a bindle (or tinfoil container) of heroin in your pocket, that is strong evidence that you intentionally exercised control over that heroin. If police asked you what that tinfoil container had in it, and you replied “heroin,” that is a further example of strong evidence proving your awareness of the nature of the item.
Pulled Over in Woodbridge with Drugs in a Car
New Jersey law defines constructive possession as knowing what an item is— here a controlled dangerous substance—further knowing that the item is nearby, having the ability to exercise control over that item, and intending to exercise control over the item.
An example of this might be keeping a baggie of cocaine in a locked container in your car. If you are the only person with the key to that container, that is strong evidence that you possessed the cocaine and intended to exercise control over it. If police ask you what’s in the baggie, and you respond that it’s an “eight ball,” that is direct evidence that you knew that you had a controlled dangerous substance in your constructive possession.
If you deny that you know what the item is (or crack a joke that it’s powdered sugar or baby powder), the police still have circumstantial evidence that you knew the nature of the substance. Why else would you have the baggie locked up with a key to the box on your person if you did not know what the item was, the item’s value, and if you did not intend to use or exercise control over the item.
More than one person can be in constructive possession of an item. Say that you and three of your friends all have keys to the lockbox discussed above containing cocaine. Each of you might be found to be in constructive possession of that cocaine. That said, constructive possession—and joint constructive possession—can be more complicated to prove than actual possession.
Local Drug Possession Lawyer in Woodbridge, NJ
If you are charged with a drug possession crime in Woodbridge, NJ, you would be well-advised to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can give you advice regarding the particular details of your situation. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers can help successfully resolve your drug possession case in Woodbridge Municipal Court or Middlesex County Superior Court. Whether an outright dismissal or a diversionary program like conditional discharge or Pretrial Intervention is the best option for you, we know what it takes to get you there. Call our local offices in (732) 659-9600 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced Woodbridge drug possession lawyer.