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. A conviction for heroin possession or distribution carries harsh penalties in New Jersey. Heroin is a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance and is highly addictive.
In recent years, heroin has become more mainstream and increasingly popular with teenagers, young adults (the greatest increase in heroin use is seen in young adults aged 18-25) and even some older professionals. At the New Jersey shore in Ocean and Monmouth County, heroin abuse has reached epidemic levels. Since the Jersey Shore is located between the two major drug drop-off points of Newark and Philadelphia, the resurgence of heroin, coming as cheap as $5 a bag, is almost as easy to get as a pack of beer.
In response, New Jersey government is redoubling its prosecution of heroin-related offenses, such as possession, distribution and intent to distribute. Police drug raids and heroin arrests are on the rise, with a major increase in the number of drug crimes appearing in court. Having an experienced heroin attorney on your side will make the difference between imprisonment and lesser penalties.
Do Not Wait. Contact Us Today.
Villani & DeLuca, P.C. provides expert drug defense lawyers for clients in Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey against all manner of heroin-related charges. Our experienced attorneys will aggressively defend your interests. Carmine R. Villani, Esq., founding partner of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., is a former Municipal Prosecutor and is an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer. Mr. Villani represents all clients with superior criminal defense representation in Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey.
If you have been charged with drug possession or any other drug-related charge, do not wait another second. You can't afford to waste time before seeking representation to defend yourself and your rights in court; your choice of legal counsel is important. Contact Partner, Carmine R. Villani, Esq. or Associate, Timothy L. Horn, Esq. at (732) 709-7757 to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder that is “cut” with sugars, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Unlike the case with some other illegal drugs, it's usually very clear when a person is high on heroin. Heroin is usually injected into a vein and requires the use of certain drug paraphernalia (i.e., spoons and syringes) commonly referred to as “works,” by drug users. Repeated use can cause “track marks” (visible needle marks and bruising of the veins) which are easily visible to police. All of these things make it easier for police to identify and apprehend suspected heroin users.
Street names: Smack, Dope, H, Junk, Brown sugar, Horse
Drug Classification: Heroin is a Schedule I drug in the US. It has no recognized medical application and is illegal to produce, distribute or possess.
Know the New Jersey Heroin Law (2C:35-10)
In New Jersey (to no surprise), it is against the law for you to possess any amount of heroin. A person who has possessed any amount of heroin is guilty of a crime of the third degree, and faces up to 5 years in prison. You will also be subject to a fine of $35,000 and the state of NJ will revoke your driver's license for six months. The laws governing drug crimes involving heroin can seem complicated because additional penalties will be enforced for using, possessing or distributing this drug near a school zone, housing project or public park, or by involving minors in its use or distribution.
Possession with Intent to Distribute or Sell Heroin (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5)
The penalty for drug manufacturing, intending to sell, or possessing with the intent to distribute all come under the same category and the penalty is the same for each of them. However, the severity of the punishment for each offense will vary, depending on how much of it is at issue.
- If you are caught possessing and trying to sell less than one-half (0.5) of an ounce of heroine, you can be put in prison for up to 5 years and compelled to pay a fine of up to $75,000
- If the quantity is more than one-half (0.5) of an ounce but less than 5 ounces, you can face up to 10 years in prison and a $75,000 fine
- If the quantity exceeds 5 ounces, you can be put away for up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000
Possession of Heroin in a School Zone (2C:35-7)
The consequences for possession of heroin, with the intent to distribute dramatically increase if the defendant is convicted within a school zone. Any person who sells or distributes heroin (i.e. possession with intent) while in a school zone faces additional penalties under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. In fact, that person may be required to serve a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility of at least one year and could also be subjected to the Brimage Guidelines. The Brimage Guidelines (or the “Brimage Sentencing Guidelines”) are guidelines that are applicable to plea bargains and sentencing/parole for New Jersey crimes relating to distribution and/or possession with intent to distribute charges.
A person is guilty of possession of heroin within a school zone if:
- The property is owned by or leased to any elementary, secondary school or school board
- The person is within 1,000 feet of any such school property or a school bus
- The person is aboard any school bus
Distribution of Heroin in a Public Housing or Park Zone (2C:35-7.1)
A third degree drug distribution charge under 2C:35-5 will be upgraded to a more serious second degree offense if you are arrested for distribution or possession (irrespective of weight) with intent to distribute drugs within 500 feet of a public park, public housing, or public building under statute 2C:35-7.1 It should also be noted that the Brimage Guidelines are implicated whenever someone is charged with this offense.
Contact an Experienced NJ Heroin Possession & Distribution Lawyer Immediately
If you or a loved one has been charged with Possession of Heroin (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10) in Ocean County or Monmouth County, New Jersey, contact a NJ heroin attorney at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. to protect your rights immediately. The attorneys at Villani & DeLuca can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (weekends and evenings available) at (732) 709-7757. Call today for a free consultation on how to protect your rights.