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NJ Drug Court: Alternative to Prison for Drug Users

Posted by Carmine R. Villani | May 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

When cocaine or heroin users are arrested for possession, prison isn't their only option – there is also something called NJ Drug Court. In order to better get to the true root of drug crimes and better rehabilitate offenders motivated by their addictions, New Jersey has instituted  “drug courts” where offenders arrested for directly drug-related crimes can pursue an alternate route than jail time through the NJ Drug Court system.

Heroin Epidemic in New Jersey

NJ drug court option

Heroin usage has become an epidemic in the State of New Jersey in recent years. In fact, authorities acknowledge that heroin and opioid abuse have been responsible for the deaths of more than 5,000 people in New Jersey during the last 10 years. But thankfully, at the New Jersey shore in Ocean and Monmouth County, the heroin death rates are starting to drop.

Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance

Possession and distribution of heroin are especially serious offenses because heroin is a Schedule I CDS as defined by the United States Controlled Substances Act. If you have been arrested for distributing or possessing heroin, it is extremely important that you contact a NJ heroin defense attorney as soon as possible.

Heroin Possession Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10)

Laws for heroin possession in NJ and intent to distribute drugs are outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. It is unlawful for anyone to “manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense” a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) or an analog of a controlled dangerous substance. Individuals can face prison terms and hefty fines as well as driver's license revocation.

The Alternative: A NJ Drug Court

As an alternative to the above, a NJ Drug Court program allows individuals who are facing lengthy prison sentences to possibly avoid state prison and to rehabilitate themselves in a therapeutic environment. According to New Jersey Courts, the mission of a drug court is to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs related to criminal activity. NJ drug courts are a highly specialized team process within the existing Superior Court structure that addresses nonviolent drug-related cases. They are unique in the criminal justice environment because they build a close collaborative relationship between criminal justice and drug treatment professionals. Although it is considered an alternative to prison, the drug court option in NJ should be taken very seriously. Cases that go through the NJ drug court are supervised (similar to probation) where progress is monitored consistently, including:

  • Random and frequent drug testing
  • Home visits
  • Maintenance of steady employment
  • Participation in drug/alcohol treatment
  • Participation in mental health programming
  • Curfews
  • Frequent check-ins with the court

NJ Drug Court Attorney

If you have been arrested for distributing or possessing drugs, consider talking to a NJ Drug Court attorney. The heroin attorneys and drug lawyers at Villani Deluca are well-versed in the NJ Drug Court system and can help you stay out of jail. Contact a NJ heroin defense attorney as soon as possible. The firm of Villani & DeLuca has experienced criminal lawyers with over 20 years of experience, including a former municipal prosecutor. Read more about the drug offense charge and call 732-709-7757 today to schedule a free consultation to get the help you need!

About the Author

Carmine R. Villani

Founding partner, Carmine Villani, Esq. is a former municipal prosecutor with over three decades of experience in Criminal and DWI Defense.


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