Contact Our Jersey City or Hoboken Office For A Free Consultation With An Attorney Who Is A Former Prosecutor With Decades Of Experience Defending CDS Distribution Charges
Cases involving allegations of drug distribution tend to be some of the riskiest types that an individual can face in Jersey City, Hoboken, Secaucus, North Bergen, Bayonne or anywhere else in Hudson County. A criminal charge for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) is always a felony and carries the possibility of years in prison. Your efforts to educate yourself on this subject are therefore well placed and so too your trying to find the very best lawyer to defend your charges.
Lawmakers, police and prosecutors put extra effort into targeting those who sell or distribute cocaine, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy (i.e. MDMA), Xanax and other drugs. Depending on whether the CDS falls under Schedule I, II, III, IV or V, as well as the quantity involved, a defendant faces a first, second, third or fourth degree crime if they are convicted for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing CDS with intent to distribute. An accomplished defense attorney can be the most potent weapon in averting a conviction.
We are the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall, a powerhouse criminal firm with offices in Jersey City opposite the Hudson County Superior Court, as well as in downtown Hoboken. The ten (10) lawyers on our team have over 150 years in practice combined, with most possessing over fifteen (15) years and having served as prosecutors in positions like Director of Major Crimes and Supervisor of the Drug Task Force. If you or someone you know has been charged with distribution of CDS/drugs in Hudson County, one of our attorneys is available 24/7 to provide a free consultation by contacting our Jersey City Office at 201-309-0500.
A highly skilled Hudson County drug distribution defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 574 Newark Avenue, Suite 204A, Jersey City, New Jersey, and 50 Harrison Street, Suite 401, Hoboken New Jersey, is ready to discuss your charge arising in Kearny, Jersey City, North Bergen, Hoboken,West New York, Union City, Harrison, Weehawken, Bayonne, Guttenberg, East Newark and Secaucus.
Distribution of Heroin, Cocaine, Marijuana Or Other CDS in Hudson County NJ
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 is the New Jersey distribution distribution law. This statute makes it a crime to knowingly or purposely “manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled dangerous substance analog”. As previously stated, the severity of this activity hinges on the type of CDS being distributed or sold, as well as the quantity associated with the conduct. The headings below outline the grading of a Hudson County drug distribution offense under 2C:35-5.
- It is a first degree crime for someone to distribute, sell or possess with intent to distribute, five (5) ounces of more of cocaine (i.e. crack or powder), heroin, MDMA or methamphetamine. It is also a first degree crime where the drug involves 100 milligrams or more of LSD, one (1) gram or more of flunitrazepam, or twenty-five (25) pounds or more of marijuana.
- It is a second degree crime to distribute at least one-half ounce but less than five (5) ounces of MDMA, heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. Distributing or selling less than 100 milligrams of LSD, at least five (5) pounds but less than twenty-five (25) pounds of marijuana, one-hundred (100) or more dosage units of Adderall, Xanax, Oxycodone or other prescription drugs, less than one gram of flunitrazepam, one (1) ounce or more of a synthetic cannabinoid or bath salts (mephedrone, MDPV, methylone, methedrone, 3 MMC or flephedrone), or any quantity of GHB, also results in a second degree crime.
- It is a third degree crime where the drugs/CDS involves less than one-half ounce of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin or MDMA. Distribution of at least five (5) but less than one-hundred (100) dosage units of Oxycontin, Ritalin, Suboxone, Percocet, Valium or another prescription drug, or at least one (1) ounce but less than five (5) pounds of marijuana, is also a third degree crime.
- It is a fourth degree crime to sell, distribute or possess with intent to distribute, less than an ounce of marijuana, less than five (5) dosage units of a prescription legend drug or a Schedule V CDS.
When Does Someone Manufacture CDS Or Drugs?
“Manufacture” is given a broad definition under 2C:35-5 and essentially means production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion or processing of a controlled dangerous substance or its analog, either directly or indirectly or by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substances or labeling or relabeling of their containers. The cultivation of a marijuana crop is within the definition of manufacture. A defendant who purchases cocaine and heroin in bulk, dilutes the substances with cutting agents and packages them for sale in units of small quantities, manufactures a controlled dangerous substances. Furthermore, “manufacture” includes “rerocking” cocaine.
How Is Dispensing or Distributing Defined For Purposes Of Violating N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5?
These terms require some act of deliver or transfer of a controlled dangerous substance or its analog. An individual distributes not only when they transfer but also when they share a drug with another. But it should be clarified that New Jersey Law precludes a distribution charge where two or more individuals share the possession CDS such as where they buy marijuana, cocaine or another substance together and transfer a quantity to the other.
Elements Of Proof That Must Be Presented By The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office In Order To Secure A Conviction
There are three (3) fundamental elements that must be established, beyond reasonable doubt, for a conviction under 2C:35-5 to be secured. First, the material in question must be CDS. Second, the accused must have either manufactured, dispensed, distributed or sold the drug. Third, the conduct must have been knowing or purposeful.
Special Enhancements That Can Be Triggered When Someone Distributes CDS in Jersey City, Secaucus, Hoboken, Union City or Another Hudson County Town
The most common enhancement that arises in Hudson County distribution cases is a school zone charge. This offense applies where the conduct of selling, manufacturing or distributing takes place within 1,000 property owned or leased by a school. For more information on Hudson County school zone charges click here. Another enhancement, commonly referred to as a public park offense, is triggered when someone distributes or sells within 500 feet of a public park or housing project. You should also be mindful of the implications of weapon possession in this context. If you are found in possession of a firearm or other weapon while distributing CDS, you face an entirely separate serious offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1.
Penalties for Distributing, Manufacturing or Selling Drugs in Hudson County
The most severe of distribution cases are those that are first degree crimes. In addition, to straight distribution charges under 2C:35-5, this grade of offense can arise as the result of allegations of an individual acting as a leader of a drug trafficking network, maintaining a CDS production facility, or causing a drug induced death. For purposes of 2C:35-5 charges only, the penalties that may be imposed at the time of sentencing include:
First Degree Crime. The standard penalties for first degree distribution include 10-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 ($300,000 for marijuana and methamphetamine, and $250,000 for flunitrazepam).
Second Degree Crime. An individual faces 5-10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $150,000 ($150,000 for flunitrazepam and GHB, and $300,000 for prescription drugs) for second degree distribution of CDS.
Third Degree Crime. The penalties for third degree distribution including up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000 ($200,000 for prescription legend drugs and $25,000 for marijuana).
Fourth Degree Crime. An individual faces up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 ($25,000 for Schedule V) for fourth degree distribution of drugs/cds.
You should also know that there is a mandatory period of parole ineligibility that must be imposed whenever someone is being sentenced for first degree distribution. The minimum term must be set at between one-half and one-third of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant is ineligible for release on parole. There is also a period of parole ineligibility that is triggered when someone falls under the Brimage Guidelines because they have a prior conviction for distributing or selling drugs or someone other factor applies.
Whether you were arrested in Hoboken, Secaucus, Jersey City, West New York, North Bergen, Guttenberg, Union City, Weehawken, Harrison, Kearny, Bayonne or East Newark, failure to secure the very best outcome in your case can clearly result in major problems. The Hudson County CDS distribution attorneys at our firm will ensure that this does not happen and are available now at 201-309-0500 to provide a free consultation.
Drug Distribution Lawyers in Hudson County NJ
As you can tell from this article, a drug distribution offense in Hudson County has the potential to be life changing. This is especially true if you have a prior criminal record, are facing a second degree or first degree crime, or there are allegations that your conduct occurred in a school zone, public park or involved a firearm. You deserve nothing short of the best defense available and a lawyer on our team is prepared to provide this level of representation. To discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding your drug distribution arrest in Hudson County, contact our Jersey City Office. One of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will give you all the time you need to explore all of your options, including Pretrial Intervention, Drug Court or challenging the case on a basis such as a search that violated your constitutional rights (e.g. no warrant, improper warrant or some other improper conduct by the police).