Drug Distribution Defense Lawyers in N.J.
It is a serious crime in New Jersey to “manufacture, distribute or dispense” illegal drugs or to have the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense drugs under your control. Depending on the drug and the quantity found, a drug distribution charge could be a first, second, third or fourth degree indictable offense and result in anywhere from 18 months in prison and a fine up to $10,000 to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Drug distribution charges in New Jersey require the assistance of a legal team experienced with N.J. drug cases if the defendant is to avoid lengthy prison time, fines and a damaging record as a convicted criminal. The defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are former New Jersey prosecutors and public defenders who have been on both sides of drug distribution cases throughout the state.
Our legal team employs a deep knowledge of N.J. drug laws and what really happens in court and behind the scenes to craft strategic criminal defense solutions to drug distribution charges. Individuals and families from across the state are glad they turned to our law firm when they needed help fighting drug dealing charges.
If you face charges of being a drug dealer in New Jersey, it is important to understand what you’re up against and know how the decisions you make now could affect your future. The drug crimes attorney you choose to represent you could make a big difference in your drug distribution case.
Our team has real-life experience with significant drug cases in courtrooms across New Jersey. Call one of our six N.J. offices or fill out our online form today to talk to one of our experienced drug crimes lawyers about your case in a free legal consultation.
What Charges for Dealing Drugs in New Jersey Mean
If you have been arrested for or charged with distribution of illegal drugs in New Jersey, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights, which include the right to a strong legal defense. Do not assume the prosecution’s case against you is enough to convict, and do not make the mistake of answering any questions without a lawyer present. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall as soon as possible.
New Jersey imposes stiff penalties for violation of its laws against manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances (illegal drugs). Penalties are based on the drug and the quantity judged to be under the defendant’s control at the time of arrest or indictment.
New Jersey penalties for dealing drugs include, for:
- 5 or more ounces is a first-degree indictable offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine ($300,000 for meth). One third to one half of the sentence must be served to be eligible for parole.
- More than half of an ounce but less than 5 ounces is a second-degree indictable offense punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine
- Less than half of an ounce is a third-degree indictable offense punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
LSD, Phencyclidine (PCP), Psilocybin (mushrooms)
- 100 milligrams or more is a first-degree indictable offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. One third to one half of the sentence must be served to be eligible for parole.
- Less than 100 milligrams is a second-degree indictable offense punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
- 25 pounds or more, or 50 or more marjuana plants (regardless of weight), or 5 pounds or more of hashish is a first-degree indictable offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $300,000 fine. One third to one half of the sentence must be served to be eligible for parole.
- 5 pounds or more but less than 25 pounds, or 10 to 49 marijuana plants (regardless of weight), or 1 pound to less than 5 pounds of hash is a second-degree indictable offense punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
- 1 ounce or more but less than 5 pounds, or 5 grams to less than 1 pound of hash is a third-degree indictable offense punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.
- Less than 1 ounce, or less than 5 grams of hash is a fourth-degree indictable offense punishable by 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Distribution of other Schedule I, II, III or IV drugs not specifically addressed by New Jersey law is treated as a third-degree indictable offense punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Distribution of Schedule V drugs is a fourth-degree indictable offense punishable by 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
The penalties referred to above also apply to counterfeit drugs or analogs (similar drugs). The weight of the drug includes anything used to dilute (cut, step on) the drug.
Drug distribution charges that involve the threat of deadly force or other violence may result in even harsher prison sentences and fines. Charges and potential penalties are also increased if the arrest or indictment cites drug dealing in a:
- School zone or school bus
- Public housing project
- Public park
Even at the lowest level, punishment for drug distribution in New Jersey will disrupt your life immediately and damage your future. For higher-level drug distribution offenses, your foreseeable future could easily be one of imprisonment. This is why it is important that you have a seasoned N.J. drug crimes defense attorney in your corner who understands the stakes and will fight for the best possible outcome available in your case.
We Fight New Jersey Drug Distribution Charges
Circumstances surrounding drug distribution charges are often extremely complicated, and police usually do not understand all of the facts at the time of an arrest. It is also common for prosecutors to add intent to distribute charges to drug possession charges simply to intimidate the defendant.
There are potentially many opportunities to challenge the case against you and have charges dismissed or reduced if you have been charged with drug distribution.
The sooner an attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is involved in your case, the better the opportunity to challenge the evidence against you or even how you were arrested.
We begin to investigate drug distribution charges in New Jersey as soon as we are engaged as defense attorneys on the case. As former N.J. prosecutors, we recognize weak drug distribution cases and zealously challenge them.
Among the questions we will ask and answer are:
- Was probable cause established before police searched you, your car or your residence?
- Was there anything improper or illegal about the search and seizure that resulted in evidence against you?
- Was your arrest, search or the charges against you based on racial, ethnic, socio-economic or other bias (profiling)?
- Is this a case of mistaken identity due to faulty accusations or a flawed lineup, or were you otherwise named in another improper manner?
- Were you properly read your Miranda rights as soon as you were arrested or detained?
- Can prosecutors prove drugs seized were in your possession or under your control?
- Can the chain of custody of drugs alleged to have been in your possession be verified?
- Are the quantities of seized drugs alleged by police accurate and verifiable?
- Can prosecutors establish an intent to sell or otherwise distribute the drugs in question?
- Are charges of possession with intent to distribute wrongly based on the presence of drug paraphernalia, plastic baggies, a household scale or a large amount of cash at the scene of your arrest?
The evidence we uncover or rebut as we investigate your case may allow us to negotiate a dismissal of charges or a reduction to a lesser charge in a plea bargain. It is not unusual for prosecutors to work with us and agree to reduce or dismiss drug dealing charges once we raise solid questions about the validity of their case.
If it is required, we are prepared to go to trial on your behalf to demonstrate to the judge and jury that a not-guilty verdict serves justice in your case.
New Jersey Diversion Programs Available in Drug Distribution Cases
Though New Jersey drug laws impose harsh penalties for possession and/or distribution of drugs, our state’s leaders also promote rehabilitation over incarceration. In most cases, first-time offenders charged with nonviolent crimes have an opportunity to enter diversionary programs sponsored by the state.
These are programs meant for people who truly want to deal with drug abuse problems. They have significant lifestyle requirements that are imposed under close supervision.
Drug court is a specialized probation with intensive supervision that requires frequent drug testing and court appearances, along with participation in treatment and recovery (12-step programs). Drug court also makes counseling and other resources available to participants who need assistance with job training, education and health care.
Pretrial intervention (PTI) requires court supervision for an average of 1 to 3 years. Additional requirements, which may be imposed, include psychological and/or drug and alcohol evaluations, completing a rehabilitation program, and random urine testing. A defendant who successfully completes all conditions of PTI has their original charges dismissed.
We can assist and advise you about possible entry into PTI or drug court, as well as about addiction assessment, treatment and recovery programs outside of the New Jersey court system.
New Jersey’s veterans’ diversion program is available to active and retired members of the military, including the reserves, who have been accused of nonviolent crimes if they have been diagnosed with a mental illness, or if law enforcement, family members or friends say they have exhibited symptoms of mental illness. Participants avoid trial and, upon successful completion of the program, may have charges expunged from their criminal record.
Our objective is to seek the best available outcome for you when you face drug distribution charges. If you have an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney like our N.J. drug crime attorneys working for you, there are many opportunities to avoid harsh punishment. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall today to learn how we can help you.
Talk to Our Attorneys About Drug Dealing Charges in New Jersey
There is a lot at risk if you have been charged with sale, manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs in New Jersey. But an arrest or indictment is not a guilty verdict. Exercise your right to remain silent and contact our experienced New Jersey drug crimes lawyers as soon as possible for a free legal consultation. We work to make a positive difference in your case and your future.