Summer Music Festivals and Drug Crime Defense

Summer Music Festivals and Drug Crime DefenseThere’s no shortage of entertainment at the Jersey Shore. In fact, more than 60 music festivals are scheduled throughout the summer. Events include a tour with the band Mumford & Sons in Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant SummerFest, Oceanfest in Long Branch on the fourth of July, to the Beach Glow Music Festival in Atlantic City. In New Jersey, summer music concerts are a fun way for friends to socialize and listen to their favorite bands for a night out…or even throughout an entire week. Some of these festivals also involve camping and most are synonymous with partying (that often include alcohol and drug use).

Summertime Safety

Last year at the two-day Electric Adventure music festival in Seaside Heights, 42 were arrested on drug charges and 34 people were treated for drug overdoses. The town is now trying to bring more “family-based entertainment” to the shore to prevent a repeat of last year. In addition, just last month, 45 were arrested at the New York FolkFest Music Festival; 14 were arrested for selling and possessing drugs (including LSD, cocaine, MDMA, ketamine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, hash and marijuana).

Concert-goers should always make safety a number one priority; though they should also be concerned about potential criminal charges. Law enforcement is often present (even undercover) at festivals and concerts and have their eye out for attendees who are suspected of drug possession, distributing or underage drinking. There’s a good chance that even innocent concert goers may be approached by police officers assuming you have drugs.

Constructive Possession vs Actual Possession

In New Jersey, it is illegal to knowingly or purposefully obtain or possess a controlled dangerous substance. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, the statutory element of possession is satisfied where that possession is merely constructive. Constructive possession of drugs is satisfied, for example, where drugs are found nearby an individual, in a place where he or she can readily access such drugs. Actual possession, as the term implies, refers to drugs being located on an individual’s person. Whether your case involves actual or constructive possession, you need a NJ drug attorney to defend you.

Drug Charges Carry Serious Fines

Possession can carry serious fines and penalties for those charged with intent to distribute. Our Ocean County, drug crime defense attorneys are experienced in providing strategic advocacy and counsel to individuals who are charged or arrested. We also strive to raise awareness for concert-goers this summer to remember to stay drug free (and remember, law enforcement officials are watching…and waiting).

As with other drug crimes in New Jersey, the penalties for drug possession vary depending on the category of drugs involved and the amount of drugs one possesses. The possession of a controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV is a third degree crime, and a fine of up to $35,000 may be imposed upon conviction. The possession of a drug categorized as a Schedule V drug is a crime of the fourth degree and a fine of up to $15,000 may be issued.

Defending New Jersey and Out-of-State Concert-Goers

New Jersey and out-of-state residents who are traveling for music festivals at the Shore should be wary of potential liabilities when crossing the state lines. In the event of drug charges, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, or underage drinking charges, a local attorney from Villani & DeLuca can help to protect your rights. Call our Criminal Defense lawyers today for you free initial consultation at 888-389-9533