Cocaine Possession Charge Lawyers NJ
Sussex County NJ Cocaine Defense Attorneys
The New Jersey criminal justice system takes drug crimes very seriously and if you are charged with a drug crime related to cocaine in Warren or Sussex County, your matter will be prosecuted in the New Jersey Superior Court, Criminal Division. When it comes to possession of cocaine, any amount at all will subject the defendant to a third degree crime for possession. As for charges of possession with intent to distribute, the charges will range from third to first degree, depending on the weight. The bottom line is that cocaine crimes may result in prison time, enhanced financial penalties, and even a loss of driver’s license. If you are facing charges for possession of cocaine or possession with intent to distribute cocaine, call the Tormey Law Firm. Our drug defense attorneys have defended countless drug cases and are familiar with proven defense strategies to fight your case in Sussex or Warren County. We represent clients throughout NJ including in Sparta, Newton, Wantage, and Belvidere. Contact our offices now for a free initial consultation at 973-755-1695.
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1) sets forth that 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, including cocaine, 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, or except as otherwise authorized by law. Importantly, the statute applies to actual or constructive possession, which is generally interpreted to mean “dominion and control.” Thus, in many circumstances defendants are charged with possession of cocaine even though they did not actually possess the suspected cocaine. But that does not mean that the charges will be successful, especially if you have an experienced drug defense lawyer from the Tormey Law Firm on your side.
Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute
In addition to the regular possession laws, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 criminalizes the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Specifically, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(1) sets forth that it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, including cocaine. Additionally, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(2), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely to create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance, including cocaine.
Penalties for Cocaine Charges in New Jersey
The penalties for cocaine crimes in New Jersey are severe. For simple possession of cocaine, the penalties for the third degree crime include a prison sentence of three to five years, an enhanced fine of up to $35,000, a drug enforcement and demand reduction penalty of $1,000, and a six-month to two-year driver’s license suspension. As for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, the penalties depend on the quantity of cocaine: five ounces or more is a crime of the first degree punishable by prison of ten to twenty years with a mandatory minimum without parole eligibility, and a fine of up to $500,000; one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces is a crime of the second degree punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000; and less than one-half ounce is a crime of the third degree punishable by three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000. Clearly, the penalties for cocaine offenses in New Jersey are strict. If you were arrested and charged with the possession of cocaine or possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, don’t hesitate to call the cocaine defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm in Sussex and Warren County.