If a person has been caught with drug paraphernalia, including rolling papers, a pipe, spoons, cutting agents, plastic baggies, capsules, bong, syringes or capsules, they can be arrested and subsequently convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia charges in NJ…but intent must be proven. If your drug paraphernalia charge is combined with other drug charges, such as drug possession, it can result in much more serious penalties. Depending on your history and circumstances surrounding your case, you may be eligible to receive a conditional discharge. Call the New Jersey criminal defense and drug attorneys at Villani & DeLuca P.C. for a free initial consultation.
Possession of Paraphernalia in the State of New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2)
Under the New Jersey law N.J.S.A 2C:36-2, the charges for possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a criminal act; the law states that it is unlawful for anyone to possess with intent to use, or use drug paraphernalia to:
This relates to introducing a controlled dangerous substance, toxic chemical or controlled substance analog into the human body, which is in violation of Chapter 35 of the act.
Possessing Drug Paraphernalia in New Jersey – The Penalties
According to 2C:36-2, possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey. If you are convicted of a disorderly persons offense, you may face penalties such as: a fine of up to $500.00, mandatory fines and costs for a drug offense, possible community service and possible jail time which can all affect a person’s future educational and career outlook.
When combined with other drug charges, such as possession with intent to distribute or simple possession, charges start getting more serious and include a longer jail or prison term and increase fine. A New Jersey defense lawyer will be able to offer advice and assistance with the goal of reducing these penalties.
Conditional Discharge for Drug Paraphernalia Possession in NJ (N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1)
A person may be eligible to receive a Conditional Discharge where they are placed on probation for 12 months and can have the charge dismissed if they completely the conditional discharge program successful. Conditional Discharge (N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1) is a “diversionary” program designed to give defendants alternatives to traditional criminal justice processes. The goal is to give first-time offenders who have committed a minor offense an opportunity to turn their lives around, foster rehabilitation and future success by providing appropriate penalties without having the offense become a part of their permanent criminal record as a conviction. First-time marijuana offenders in New Jersey may also be eligible.
Pretrial Intervention (PTI)
If the charges for drug possession are more serious, Pretrial intervention (PTI) will be made available for certain drug crimes and usually to first time offenders. A person can take part in rehabilitation programs, and if they complete the program successfully, their charges will be dismissed and their criminal record will be eligible to be expunged six months after the Order of Dismissal. A defense attorney can help seek pretrial intervention for offenders who meet the criteria for entry into this diversionary program.
Do You Need Legal Counsel?
The legal team at Villani & DeLuca P.C. are experienced in negotiating drug charges as well as drug paraphernalia charges and will offer the best possible options for a person’s particular situation. We will advise you on your legal options and investigate the circumstances surrounding the case, while working towards lessening any penalties. Talk to the lawyers at Villani & DeLuca to find out the various procedures required to follow when charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in NJ at [dyna_phone phone=’1′ format=’dashed’].