Loitering or Wandering in a Drug Zone
Drug Charges Defense Attorneys in Warren and Sussex County, New Jersey
In New Jersey, it is illegal to remain in or prowl in a public place with the purpose of obtaining or selling controlled dangerous substances. N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1 defines “public place” as any place to which the public has access, including but not limited to a public street, road, thoroughfare, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, park, recreation or shopping area, public transportation facility, vehicle used for public transportation, parking lot, public library or any other public building, structure or area. If you are in any of these places in Warren County or Sussex County, and the police suspect that you are there to buy or sell drugs, you may be charged with loitering, which is a disorderly persons offense. If you have been charged with loitering or wandering in a drug zone in Sussex County or Warren county, the criminal defense team at the Tormey Law Firm can help you fight these charges. Our highly experienced NJ drug charges defense lawyers have achieved countless dismissals and successful results for clients in Phillipsburg, Hackettstown, Sparta, Frankford Township, and across New Jersey. Contact us today at 973-755-1695 to discuss your charges and learn how we can beginning building your best defense. Consultations are always provided free of charge.
Loitering or Wandering in a New Jersey Drug Zone: N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1(b)
The New Jersey Criminal Code sets forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1(b) that a person, whether on foot or in a motor vehicle, commits a disorderly persons offense if he wanders, remains or prowls in a public place with the purpose of unlawfully obtaining or distributing a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog and engages in conduct that, under the circumstances, manifests a purpose to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog. The statute further delineates conduct that law enforcement can point to as a basis to charge a person with loitering. Specifically, according to the code, conduct that may, where warranted under the circumstances, be deemed adequate to manifest a purpose to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog includes, but is not limited to, conduct such as the following: repeatedly beckoning to or stopping pedestrians or motorists in a public place; repeatedly passing objects to or receiving objects from pedestrians or motorists in a public place; or repeatedly circling in a public place in a motor vehicle and on one or more occasions passing any object to or receiving any object from a person in a public place.
However, solely engaging in these described courses of conduct may not solely establish that the person, in fact, was in a public place with the purpose of obtaining or distributing a controlled dangerous substance. In other words, simply repeatedly beckoning to or stopping pedestrians is not enough to issue a charge for loitering, there must be additional information such as actually having drugs on your person that you are trying to sell, or money on you to use to purchase drugs. In any event, a conviction for loitering in Warren or Sussex County subjects the defendant to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Contact Hackettstown Loitering or Wandering in a Drug Zone Lawyers Today
If you are charged with loitering or wandering in a New Jersey drug zone, it is important to consult with an experienced defense attorney who has successfully handled drug cases before and knows how to combat these charges. The criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have handled thousands of drug cases throughout New Jersey, including municipal and superior courts in Sussex and Warren County, and they are ready to fight for you too. Begin your conversation now by calling 973-755-1695.