Ways You Can Illegally Possess a Drug in New Jersey
Drug Possession Attorneys in Phillipsburg NJ
You may think it is easy to understand drug possession charges, and in may cases, it is. However, you may be surprised to learn just how far some possession charges can reach in New Jersey, especially if you are in an area where drugs are found. Many people find themselves arrested with a group of people, all of whom end up charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) because of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, Molly, or prescription drugs found in a common area. Whether you are charged with drugs in a car, in a home, or somewhere else, you need to know about the types of illegal drug possession in New Jersey and how this can impact your defense.
For more information on drug possession charges and what your specific options are, contact our experienced NJ drug possession lawyers for a free consultation. We defend clients in Newton, Sparta, Vernon, Andover, Phillipsburg, Hackettstown, Belvidere, Warren County and Sussex County. Call (973)-755-1695 for help with your case.
Charged with Drug Possession in Hackettstown
The term “possession” under New Jersey law means that you have “intentional control and dominion” of an item. You can physically affect and care for it during a span of time, even if it is short. You must understand and know the identity of the object as well. There are two overarching types of drug possession charges in New Jersey: actual and constructive.
Actual possession is straightforward. It includes an object that you actually have on your person, or that is under your direct control. The clearest example is when you have drugs on your pocket or in your car when you are the only person in the vehicle. This happens on a regular basis when people are pulled over for minor traffic violations and police suspect drugs may be in the car. It often leads to arrests for marijuana possession less than 50 grams, possessing cocaine, possession of heroin, and illegal possession of prescription medications.
Keep in mind that possession charges extend to more than just drugs themselves. They also apply to drug paraphernalia, including items like pipes, bowls, syringes, or other things that may be used to consume drugs.
Arrested for Possession of CDS in Newton NJ
Possession of CDS charges also extend to instances where you have the intention to exercise control over the substance. You must also reasonably have the ability to have control over it. As mentioned above, drugs and drug paraphernalia are commonly found in relatively routine traffic stops, such as those for speeding or missing a stop sign. Keep in mind that if someone else who is traveling with you has drugs with them, you may still be charged and convicted of drug possession under NJ law. In other words, having drugs in a common area like a car can lead to criminal charge simply because of someone else.
Passenger Had Drugs in Sparta, New Jersey
For example, imagine that your passenger is carrying a small amount of cocaine in her purse. You, as the driver, are unaware that your passenger has drugs. If the police search her bag, it is possible that only she will be arrested on a CDS possession charge. The court will then have to consider that the amount of drugs is small, that the location was in her personal belongings, and you were unaware of the drugs.
However, in one New Jersey case that involved a stop of two individuals for speeding, the result was a bit different. In that case, the police found 15 pounds of cocaine in a secret compartment in the trunk. The street value of the cocaine was roughly one million dollars. The amount of drugs was obviously much larger, and it was clearly deliberately hidden. As a result, both the driver and the passenger were charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
The driver alone could have been charged, but the passenger was reported as acting very strangely when the car was pulled over. He was extremely nervous, sweating, walking in circles and spoke with the driver in Spanish while the vehicle was being searched. The police assumed that he was having this conversation in Spanish so the English-speaking officers could not understand their conversation. The court concluded that it was apparent that the passenger was aware of the cargo that they were carrying. He can then be found responsible for the cocaine, regardless of who obtained or had intent to sell it.
Belvidere Attorney Needed for Drug Possession Case NJ
The lines in drug possession cases can be very blurry, which is why you need an experienced criminal lawyer who can develop your best defense based on the specific facts of your case. Talking to our team of skilled criminal defense attorneys can help you learn more about your options if you are facing drug possession charges in Sussex County, Warren County, or elsewhere in New Jersey. Call (973)-755-1695 today for a free consultation.