Arrested or Charged with Being Under the Influence of Drugs?
If you have been charged with using drugs or being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”), our attorneys can assist you. Our law firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, possesses one of the more experienced criminal defense teams in the state with lawyers having over 60 years in practice defending drug charges. We hope you find the information that follows of assistance and we encourage you to contact us to speak to an attorney from our office free of charge. A lawyer is available 24/7 at 1-877-450-8301.
Use of Drugs and Under the Influence Law – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(b)
The law prohibiting an individual from illegally using or being under the influence of marijuana or other CDS is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(b). This law provides that:
“b. Any person who uses or who is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, for a purpose other than the treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or administered by a physician is a disorderly person.
In a prosecution under this subsection, it shall not be necessary for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of any specific drug, but it shall be sufficient for a conviction under this subsection for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of some controlled dangerous substance, counterfeit controlled dangerous substance, or controlled substance analog, by proving that the accused did manifest physical and physiological symptoms or reactions caused by the use of any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.”
It is a disorderly persons offense for an individual to use or be under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance unless the drug has been lawfully prescribed. It is important to note that the prosecution need not prove the substance or particular CDS being used but simply that the suspect manifested the symptoms of being under the influence. The requisite symptoms may be established by, for example, needle marks, inflamed nasal or mucous membranes, blood shot eyes, odor on clothing (e.g. marijuana) or alertness.
Penalties for Being Under the Influence of CDS
Various monetary assessments and other penalties may be ordered by a New Jersey court upon a finding of guilt under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(b). A fine of up to $1,000 may be imposed upon conviction, along with mandatory assessments for the VCCB, Safe Neighborhood Fund, and court costs. In addition, a mandatory drug offense license suspension of six months to two years applies.
An individual with no prior drug convictions and who was never granted diversion previously is eligible for conditional discharge. A lawyer can prove invaluable in obtaining this relief.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our highly experienced lawyers free of charge. Our attorneys always welcome the opportunity to speak to prospective clients and can be reached at 1-877-450-8301.