Gloucester NJ Possession of CDS Lawyers
Defense Attorneys for Drug Possession in Camden County, New Jersey
Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is among the most common criminal charges in New Jersey. Residents and visitors alike often find themselves charged with drug possession after a routine motor vehicle stop or other interaction with law enforcement. Unfortunately, possession of CDS is a serious criminal offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. Depending on the specific substance involved in your case, you may be charged with a disorderly persons offense or an indictable crime, also known as a felony. Sometimes, a charge for possession of CDS will be accompanied by other drug charges such as intent to distribute in a school zone or within 500 of certain public property. Whatever the circumstances, drug possession charges must be addressed with an aggressive defense strategy to avoid severe penalties.
Experienced criminal defense attorney William Fay has been defending clients charged with possessing controlled substances and other drug crimes in New Jersey for years. Over the course of his distinguished career, Mr. Fay has earned a reputation for delivering superior results, which in turn, has earned him a five out of five client rating on Avvo. When you enlist our criminal defense law firm to defend your case, you can place your trust in a legal team that will do everything in their power to secure the best possible result. If you have been charged with possession of CDS in Camden, Stratford, Lindenwold, Winslow, Cherry Hill, Gloucester, Haddonfield or Bellmawr, contact us at 609-832-3202 for immediate assistance. We are happy to discuss the circumstances of your case and answer all of your questions in a free consultation.
Possession of CDS in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10
In New Jersey, a charge for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) can be brought against a person who illegally possesses any drug included in the New Jersey Schedules of Controlled Substances. According to section 24:21-2, a controlled dangerous substance is defined as any drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V. Some of the most common types of CDS in New Jersey include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, and Ecstasy (MDMA or Molly). Prescription drugs like Xanax, Adderall, Oxycontin, and Percocet are also considered controlled substances. If you are found in possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription from a valid practitioner, you can also be charged with a violation of New Jersey Statute 2C:35-10. Notably, CDS does not include beer, wine, liquor, or tobacco products.
Understanding Types of Possession in NJ Drug Cases
You can be charged with possession of CDS based on “Actual” or “Constructive” possession of a drug. Actual possession is rather self-explanatory, meaning you had the drug on your person. For example, there was cocaine in your pocket or heroin in your shoe. Constructive possession is slightly more nuanced. In order to be charged with constructive possession, you must have been aware that the drug was present and able to exercise control over it. The vast majority of constructive drug possession cases involve several people who are stopped in a car. If a police officer finds drugs somewhere in the vehicle, they can effectively arrest every person in the car and charge each one with possession of CDS. In some cases, the driver will be charged with an additional offense known as possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.
Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in New Jersey
Under New Jersey drug possession law, possession of almost any substance included in the New Jersey Drug Schedules is considered a third degree crime. The one exception to this rule is marijuana, which is governed by its own specifications. For marijuana, possession of less than 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana is a fourth degree crime if there is no intent to distribute. For drugs other than marijuana such as cocaine, possessing any amount can lead to charges for a third degree felony. A third degree crime is punishable by between 3 and 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $35,000 fine, driver’s license suspension for 6 months, and a criminal record.
Notably, there is a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders. As a result, defendants with no prior criminal record may be able to use diversionary programs like Conditional Discharge or Pre-trial Intervention (PTI) to have their charges dismissed. These programs are essentially a period of probation during which the charges are suspended. If you successfully complete the program, the possession of CDS charge is dismissed and you can keep a clean criminal record.
Contact a Haddon Twp CDS Possession Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), your life and your future are on the line. A conviction for drug possession may prevent you from achieving all of your goals, as many educational institutions and employers run background checks before making admissions decisions and job offers. An arrest for drug possession is only the beginning. The significant fines, loss of driving privileges, and potential jail time can throw your life off course for years. Don’t trust your future to chance. It is highly advisable to find an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can ensure your rights are protected. Contact our criminal defense law firm for a free consultation with a drug possession defense attorney today. You can call 609-832-3202 or reach out online. We regularly defend clients in Burlington, Camden, Atlantic, and Gloucester counties and throughout South Jersey.