What begins as a routine traffic stop can spell severe implications if the officer conducting the stop discovers a controlled dangerous substance in your vehicle. For example, an alleged improper lane change can escalate into charges for driving under the influence of drugs, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and/or possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle. Although the latter of these appears to be a drug crime, it is technically a motor vehicle violation. As such, it may be issued in addition to a criminal charge for possession of a controlled dangerous substance such as marijuana, heroin, or cocaine. If this is the case, you may be exposed to the detrimental effects of a criminal conviction, as well as the mandatory 2-year suspension of driving privileges associated with a CDS possession in a motor vehicle offense.
When working to overcome drug cases similar to those discussed above, it is essential to secure a dismissal of the possession of CDS in a vehicle charge because the sentence associated with a conviction for this offense is not subject to judicial discretion. Essentially, this means that if you are convicted of possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, your driver’s license will undoubtedly be suspended for a period of 2 years. However, a knowledgeable and proactive defense attorney can often convince the acting prosecutor to dismiss this motor vehicle charge and facilitate your enrollment in a diversionary program known as conditional discharge as a means by which to resolve the criminal possession charges. This, of course, is a viable alternative if we are unable to achieve an outright dismissal by raising issues with the probable cause for the initial stop, the validity of the search, your consent, or another compelling issue.
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, the former municipal prosecutors on our team have prosecuted numerous cases involving drugs in motor vehicles. We utilize these relationships and the invaluable insight gained during these experiences to achieve successful resolutions for our clients in court rooms in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, and throughout New Jersey. To discuss your case with one of our skilled defense lawyers, contact our offices anytime. We will ensure that you thoroughly understand the potential avenues that may be available to you so you can move forward with confidence.
Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle is enumerated under N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1, which states:
No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any highway while knowingly having in his possession or in the motor vehicle on any highway any controlled dangerous substance as classified in Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V of the “New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, ” P.L. 1970, c. 226 (C. 24:21 et seq.) or any prescription legend drug, unless the person has obtained the substance or drug from, or on a valid written prescription of, a duty licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other medical practitioner licensed to write prescriptions intended for the treatment or prevention of disease in man or animals or unless the person possesses a controlled dangerous substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner or lawfully possesses a Schedule V substance.
A person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 2 years from the date of his conviction.
Bound Brook NJ Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle Defense Lawyers
As outlined above, a conviction for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle can lead to a mandatory 2-year loss of your license, in addition to any of the penalties associated with the other charges against you. Clearly, these matters must be taken seriously and aggressively confronted. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we use our decades of experience to serve your best interests. Contact us 24/7 for a free initial consultation.