You can easily find yourself facing prison time and a steep fine if you are charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine (meth), LSD, MDMA (ecstasy or Molly) or other illegal drugs in New Jersey. In addition to spending up to five years in prison and paying up to $35,000 in fines, you will have a criminal record that will make it harder to find a job, get a loan, go back to school or live in public housing.
If you have been charged with drug possession in Morris County, N.J., you should seek help from a criminal defense attorney experienced with drug crimes as soon as you can. A lawyer from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has the experience to fight to protect your rights and defend your freedom.
Most of our attorneys worked as either prosecutors or public defenders in courtrooms across New Jersey before joining our law firm. Our legal team knows how criminal cases play out from the perspective of the defense and prosecution. In addition, we have handled numerous drug possession cases in Morris County courts. For the trusted legal guidance that you need to fight drug possession charges, call our Morristown office at 973-309-7050 to set up a consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys. The initial case review with an experienced criminal attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is free.
Let an Experienced Defense Attorney Speak for You
The New Jersey court system is set up to allow non-violent offenders to seek rehabilitation and avoid jail, particularly those charged with drug possession offenses. An experienced Morris County drug charge defense attorney can work to guide your case toward a resolution that has the least disruption to your life.
After an arrest on drug charges, exercise your Constitutional right to remain silent except to ask that you be allowed to contact an attorney. The police want you to talk to help them build their case against you. Decline politely to answer the questions of police without a criminal lawyer present. The drug possession defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Johnathan F. Marshall represent individuals charged with drug possession in Morris County. We may be able to get you into a diversion program and/or treatment, and ultimately get drug possession charges removed from your record after you successfully complete the program. Contact us as soon as you can.
Types of Drug Cases We Handle
Our dedicated Morris County drug possession attorneys fight for individuals facing a wide range of drug possession charges. No matter the drug offense you have been charged with in Morris County, an experienced attorney from our firm can help. Each of our attorneys has years of experience with drug offense charges.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall handles criminal cases in Morris County involving:
- Drug Distribution
- Drug Paraphernalia Possession
- Federal Drug Crimes
- Imitation Drug Offenses
- Synthetic Marijuana
- Intent to Distribute in a School Zone
- License Suspension
- Maintaining a Drug Production Facility
- Prescription Drug Offenses
Prosecutors face pressure to obtain guilty verdicts or pleas in drug cases. If you face drug charges in Morris County, N.J., get legal help from a law firm with the experience and know-how to deal with drug possession charges. It’s important to get a trusted criminal lawyer on your side as soon as possible to begin gathering information to build your defense. Contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall without further delay.
Penalties for Drug Possession Crimes in New Jersey
Drug possession charges in New Jersey may be filed as possessing, using, being under the influence of, or failing to properly dispose of controlled substances that were not legally prescribed to you.
In most cases, drug possession is a third-degree offense in New Jersey, which is punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $35,000. Possession of Schedule I, II, III or IV controlled dangerous substances is a third-degree offense.
Schedule I drugs include heroin, cocaine, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and other hard drugs that have no valid medical use and a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Schedule II drugs include certain types of prescription drugs with high potential for abuse, such as opiates, oxycodone, methadone and fentanyl.
Schedule III drugs are prescription drugs with potential for abuse, such as amphetamines, methamphetamines and Ritalin.
Schedule IV drugs are prescription drugs with low potential for abuse and include anxiety medications and hypnotics, such as Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam) and Ambien (zolpidem).
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug. But a possession of marijuana charge is treated differently. Possession of 50 grams (1.76 ounces) or less of marijuana without a prescription obtained through the Medicinal Marijuana Program, or 5 grams or less of hashish may lead to a disorderly person charge handled in municipal court and punishable upon conviction by a fine of up to $1,000.
Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or more than 5 grams of hashish is a fourth-degree offense, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Possession of a Schedule V controlled substance, such as prescription drugs with low doses of opium, codeine, dihydrocodeine, ethyl morphine, is also a fourth-degree offense, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
On a second or subsequent drug possession offense, the penalties may be enhanced.
First-offense penalties for drug possession are more severe if the alleged crime occurred in certain locations such as a:
- School zone or school bus
- Public housing project
- Public park.
It is not uncommon for prosecutors to file additional charges of drug distribution (drug sales) on top of a possession charge, particularly if a large quantity of drugs is seized or drug paraphernalia is found. Because drug distribution carries harsher penalties, prosecutors may add the charge to put pressure on a drug possession defendant.
Drug possession charges are serious, but an arrest or indictment is a long way from a guilty verdict. The criminal process in New Jersey has multiple steps, including options to get treatment for a drug problem to stop a mistake from marring a clean record. The Law Offices of James F. Marshall can help you take advantage of the opportunities that New Jersey law provides to avoid a guilty verdict and the harsh penalties that follow.
Common Defenses to Drug Possession Charges in New Jersey
Regardless of what happened at the time of your arrest on drug possession charges, prosecutors must be able to prove the charges in court beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. There are often factors that we can use to persuade prosecutors to dismiss or reduce charges during the pre-trial phase of the case.
The sooner an attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall becomes involved in your drug possession case, the sooner we can begin to investigate the charges and gather evidence to support your defense. Among the questions we will examine are:
- Was any evidence that is being used against you obtained during an illegal search and seizure?
- Was there probable cause for police to stop and search you or your motor vehicle?
- Was the police officer searching you for a weapon when he or she found drugs on you?
- Were you properly advised of your Miranda rights against self-incrimination in a timely manner as you were arrested?
- Do police have solid evidence that the alleged drugs were actually in your possession?
- Was there an error in how you were identified to police, such as in an improper lineup of suspects?
- Were you illegally profiled and detained or arrested because of racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic or other bias?
- Have police certifiably identified the substances allegedly seized from you as controlled dangerous substances as defined by New Jersey law?
- If test results are being used against you, did lab equipment used to obtain those results function properly?
- Were charges of possession with intent to distribute inappropriately added to charges against you based on factors beyond your control and/or misinterpreted at the site of your arrest?
Your drug possession defense attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will explore every aspect of the allegations against you to create a solid defense. The prosecutor has the burden of proof to gain a conviction. Our aggressive drug defense attorneys will challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution at every stage in the process.
Contact us today to schedule a free legal consultation. We understand that being arrested for drug possession is a stressful and confusing situation for most of our clients. We’ll answer your questions and advise you of the issues raised by the legal process that you may not have considered. Our objective is to resolve the case is a way that is in your best interest and causes the least disruption to your life.
Talk to Our Morris County Drug Possession Defense Lawyers
If you are facing drug possession charges in Morris County, N.J., it’s important to get experienced legal help as soon as you can. New Jersey law provides harsh punishments for drug possession, if convicted. Our drug possession defense attorneys understand how local courts pursue drug possession cases, and what is necessary to obtain the best possible outcome for you. Whether you’re facing first-time drug offense penalties in N.J. or more serious charges of manufacturing or distribution, our criminal lawyers can provide you with experienced legal guidance and advocate for your rights.
The dedicated attorneys of the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have over 100 years of combined experience representing clients across New Jersey. We have the experience, dedication and resources to get you the best possible resolution to your case.
We’re available to help 24/7 in Morristown, NJ, and offer a free initial consultation about your case. If you’re facing a drug possession charge, don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us online or call us now.