Point Pleasant Beach is the site of popular nightlife, which can sometimes lead to encounters with law enforcement. During a confrontation with law enforcement, if it is revealed that someone in your entourage is in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, there are serious consequences. Depending on the substance and quantity, a person who is charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance while visiting Point Pleasant Beach can face jail, probation, and fines, and a permanent criminal record. In order to ensure your rights are protected, it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Villani & DeLuca, we have spent the last 20 years representing clients facing these charges across Ocean County and in neighboring towns such as Toms River, Brick, Belmar, and Bay Head.
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances
There are many reasons why a person may be stopped by a police officer while on the Jenkinson's Boardwalk or outside one of the many Point Pleasant Beach bars. Whether it is on suspicion of criminal mischief or disorderly conduct, if any substance banned under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 is found on you, it will result in a violation of the statute and penalties. In New Jersey, controlled dangerous substances are divided into separate schedules beginning with Schedule V and going up to Schedule I, which is considered the most dangerous. Schedule I drug violations carry the most punishment. Below are examples of substances in each schedule:
Schedule V substances – drugs containing less than 200 milligrams of codeine
Schedule IV substances-Xanax, Valium, Barbital, Ambien
Schedule III substances- ketamine, speed, anabolic steroids
Schedule II substances-Cocaine, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, Adderall
Schedule I substances- Marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, acid, LSD, morphine
These are only several examples of the substances on the list of scheduled drugs in New Jersey, and if found to be in possession of any of these substances after being stopped by a police officer, you may face charges ranging from a disorderly persons offense to a third degree crime.
Punishment for Drug Violations in Point Pleasant Beach
“It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice”
Disorderly Persons Offense– If the person was in possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, or 5 grams or less of hashish, was under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or knowingly obtained or possessed a controlled dangerous substance and failed to deliver it to the nearest law enforcement agency.
Fourth Degree Offense– If the person was in possession of a schedule V substance, the court may impose a fine of $15,000 OR if the person was in possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or more than 5 grams of hashish, a fine of $25,000 may be imposed.
Third Degree Offense– If the person was in possession of any controlled dangerous substance or its analog, classified in schedule I, II, III or IV, a fine of $35,000 may be imposed.
Point Pleasant Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
Conveniently located in Point Pleasant Beach since 1996, Villani & DeLuca has represented many clients facing charges possession of controlled dangerous substances. Not only are the fines expensive, but in cases where the person possesses a substance listed under Schedule I or II, they can be facing time in prison or jail. Having a conviction on your record can still affect you years after the event, greatly damaging your ability to secure employment or financial aid down the road.
There are defenses available to a charge of possession of a controlled dangerous substance. The state will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed the substance or its analog in a knowing or purposeful manner. Additionally, claiming that you were unaware of the substance will not be a defense and a charge for unlawful possession of a prescription drug will require proof of your prescription. Your case may involve issues in any of these areas, therefore you should retain a criminal defense attorney with years of experience defending these types of matters. Give us a call today at 732-965-3550 to speak to one of our attorneys about the facts of your case.