Just recently, six residents were arrested in a Monmouth County Drug Bust. Officers arrested five residents from Neptune and one Toms River man on drug possession and distribution charges. According to the Asbury Park Press, The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Narcotic Strike Force and the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit assisted in executing the warrant after a three-month investigation. We read about these types of cases regularly, but what does it really mean? What are the possible consequences?
They seized 100 bags of heroin, 7 grams of crack cocaine and more than an ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Some of the charges filed against those arrested include:
• Possession of heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana
• Possession with intent to distribute
• Possession with intent to distribute in a school zone
• Possession with intent to distribute in a park zone
• Possession of drug paraphernalia
Understanding the New Jersey Drug Laws:
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10)
In the state of New Jersey, the possession of an illegal drug is called Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (C.D.S.). Possession of these drugs: cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and molly, PCP, LSD, methamphetamines and most prescription drugs for which there is no prescription, are considered a criminal offense, even in the smallest of quantities. (Even just the residue of cocaine that might be left on the inside of a plastic bag could qualify as possession of the drug as long as there is a sufficient quantity for swabbing and testing.)
Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5A)
Simple possession can be upgraded to the much more serious crime of the possession of an illegal drug with the intent to sell or give away the drug, even without an actual witness to the distribution. Charges of drug possession with intent to distribute depend on the weight of drugs in your possession and where you happened to be located when you were arrested. In NJ, intent to distribute charges can be based on the arresting officer's perception of events, presence of certain drug paraphernalia, or the way the found drugs were packaged.
Additional Drug Crimes
Depending on the circumstances, law enforcement may charge additional crimes, including:
• Maintaining or Operating a Production Facility (N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-4),
• Possession of Prescription Drugs (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5),
• Possession with Intent to Distribute in a School Zone (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7),
• Possession with Intent to Distribute within 500 feet of a public park or housing (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1).
Experienced Drug Defense Attorneys Will Fight for You
The criminal defense attorneys at Villani & DeLuca P.C have defended many individuals for all types of drug charges such as those listed above. We are aware of the many important factors associated with these crimes including critical details like quantity of drugs, prior criminal records (specifically prior drug convictions) and details of the arrest to get you the best result possible.
There are alternatives, for example, the opportunity to rehabilitate offenders through drug court instead of jail time; therefore, it is critical that anyone being charged which a serious drug charge obtain the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you believe that you were unjustly set up by law enforcement, or if you think improper protocol for warrants or search and seizure were followed, make sure to call the criminal and drug defense lawyers at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at 732-709-7757.