Camden County Drug Possession Charges and Penalties
Lawmakers in New Jersey have enacted strict drug possession laws. If law enforcement officers charge you with the possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), you might be intimidated and overwhelmed at penalties like imprisonment and substantial fines. In such a difficult situation, you need a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer with the expertise and proven track record in fighting drug charges to help you. If there has ever been a time to protect your rights, that time is now. The outcome of your charges will impact the rest of your life. Contact a Camden County criminal defense lawyer today.
Drug Possession as Defined by New Jersey Law
If someone knowingly obtained, had on their person, or had constructive control over an illegal substance, they can be charged with various degrees of drug possession charges. An illegal substance can be hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl, as well as prescription drugs, such as Xanax or Percocet, for which the individual doesn’t have a valid prescription.
While the amount of marijuana someone is alleged to possess can impact the level of charges they receive, the amount of other drugs doesn’t necessarily increase the level of the charge. However, large quantities of drugs are used by police to substantiate a charge for the intent to distribute drugs. Drug distribution and possession are separate charges with different penalties.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Camden
It is a myth that the first time someone receives a drug possession charge they will face less severe penalties. Penalties center around what type of drug is involved and, as is the case with marijuana, the amount of drugs discovered. Keep in mind that individuals found to be in possession of drugs near schools, parks, daycares, or on school buses government property will face additional consequences. It is imperative to have a New Jersey drug charges attorney evaluate your charges to see how they can help if you want to improve your situation.
Marijuana Possession Charges
It’s crucial to note that medical marijuana use is legal in New Jersey. Those who qualify can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana per month. Otherwise, the penalties for a conviction of marijuana possession are:
- Under 50g (or under 5g of hashish) – A disorderly persons offense that can carry up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Over 50g (or over 5g of hashish) – A fourth-degree crime that comes with as many as 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
Possession of Narcotics or Controlled Substances
Possession of narcotics or controlled substances charge includes:
- All other illegal narcotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, opiates, or depressants
Possession of any of these drugs is a third-degree crime. Convictions carry severe consequences, including as many as five years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000.
Opioid Possession Charges
A Camden County, New Jersey drug lawyer can also help with charges for opioid possession. Opioids serve as pain relievers and include the drugs OxyContin, codeine, and fentanyl. Even though they have beneficial medical uses and are obtainable with a prescription, opioids are no less addictive. New Jersey and most other states heavily regulate opioid usage, resulting in severe consequences if convicted of opioid possession:
- Prison sentences – Possession of four or fewer opioid doses without a prescription is a fourth-degree felony in New Jersey with a prison sentence of up to 18 months. Possession of between five and 99 pills or doses is a third-degree felony with a sentence of up to five years in prison. Possession of 100 or more pills or doses is a second-degree felony and can carry a sentence of as many as ten years in prison.
- Fines – A conviction for possession of opioids comes with a fine of up to $10,000 for up to four pills or doses; up to $200,000 for between five to 99 pills or doses; and no more than $300,000 for 100 or more pills or doses.
Additional Consequences for Drug Charges
As if thousands of dollars in fines and years of imprisonment weren’t enough, those convicted of a drug possession charge in New Jersey also face some other consequences. This kind of situation makes hiring an experienced New Jersey drug charges attorney even more important.
Anyone convicted of opioid possession in New Jersey will be guilty of a crime. They will have a permanent criminal record. A criminal record can severely restrict your ability to get a job, access housing, or even attend school. You might also be required to participate in mandatory drug education and rehabilitation programs.
Under New Jersey law, those convicted of drug offenses, including possession, must forfeit their driver’s license for a period between six months and two years. A court may grant an exception if there are extraneous circumstances, such as those that would result in hardship, and there are no alternate means of transportation available.
You have a better chance of avoiding a conviction on drug possession charges or receiving decreased penalties when you have a seasoned New Jersey drug charges lawyer representing you. The sooner you talk to one after receiving your charges, the better the outcome could be.
Get Help from a Successful New Jersey Drug Charges Attorney at Wimmer Criminal Defense Today
Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Other times being in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to serious legal trouble. No matter your circumstances, Wimmer Criminal Defense can help.
New Jersey drug laws are complicated. You need to build your defense early to protect your rights. Knowing whom you should call, when you should contact them, and what you shouldn’t say to law enforcement is the first step in creating a solid defense strategy.
What you don’t know about New Jersey’s drug laws will harm you. When you need a Camden County New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, you need Wimmer Criminal Defense. Call New Jersey criminal defense attorney Lauren Wimmer today at 215-712-1212 or use our online contact form to get your free drug charge consultation.