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Drug Possession Lawyers in New Jersey

At the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, we understand that facing drug possession charges can be overwhelming and distressing.

A man in New Jersey is caught with drugs
Such charges can result from an individual having possession of a controlled substance, in any amount, whether large or small.

This applies not only to possession on an individual’s person, but also within a vehicle, a home, or some other location for which the individual is held responsible.

There are many possible repercussions for a drug possession conviction, with varied levels of severity. These repercussions can impact an individual’s day-to-day life, future work and school opportunities, and even emotional health.

Some of the most common consequences of a drug possession
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Drug awareness/drug counseling classes
  • Random drug testing
  • Jail time

There are more possible penalties than those listed aboved, but no matter the penalty, the life of an individual convicted of drug possession, or any other drug offense, will change.

Common types of drug possession charges in New Jersey:

As experienced drug crime attorneys in New Jersey, we understand that individuals need legal help with handling drug possession charges and we are here to help you.

 

Possession With Intent to Distribute

Facing charges of drug possession can be daunting, and being convicted on those charges can have serious consequences. In most cases, if you are in possession of a certain amount of illegal drugs, it is assumed by law enforcement officials that you had an intention to distribute them to others.

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Because of this assumption, courts can pursue a case for drug possession with intent to distribute, and prosecutors are under no legal obligation to actually prove that you are distributing drugs.

If you find yourself accused of any drug-related crimes in New Jersey, it is important both for your freedom and your future that you seek skilled and experienced legal counsel with expertise in drug possession laws.

Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Possession Charges in New Jersey – NJSA 2C:35-10

A man is charged with drug possession in New Jersey.

Penalties for a conviction can vary based not only the amount of drugs that an individual has in his possession, but also the kind of drug that he or she possesses.

You should consider that some drugs have more severe penalties for possession of a controlled substance; this article delves into the various penalties in more detail, and if you’ve been charged with criminal possession of prescription drugs, you can find out more here.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, it is unlawful for any person to “knowingly or purposely” possess a controlled dangerous substance (unless the person has a valid prescription). A controlled dangerous substance, or CDS, is any drug, substance or immediate precursor found in one of five “Schedules” that are set out in N.J.S.A. 24:21-5 to 8.1. If you are found guilty of possession of a CDS, the penalties you face will depend on which schedule the drug falls within as well as the amount and other factors. For instance, under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, you can be ordered to perform a minimum of 100 hours of community service if you are found to possess a CDS on school property, including a school bus, or within 1,000 feet of school property.

Additional things you should consider:

Drug
if an individual is found with illegal drugs within 1,000 feet of a school or 500 feet of a park, the penalties for conviction can be more serious, and a conviction for drug possession could potentially impact that status of certain professional licenses or a security clearance.

Possession with Intent within 500 feet of a Public Park

Being caught within the 500 feet of public housing or a public park elevates that crime up to a second degree, meaning that you would be facing a mandatory period in state prison of between five and ten years.

Possession with Intent within 1000 ft of a School Zone

If you’ve been charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or CDS drug within 1000 feet of a school zone, it’s imperative that you contact a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer immediately. Possession with intent within 1000 feet of a school zone is slightly different than your normal possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous subject; state prison is mandatory as well as a period of parole ineligibility.

criminal law
That means that if you receive a three year sentence to a New Jersey state prison, you could have to serve up to 18 months of that sentence before you are eligible for parole.

So, just to understand the difference between having parole ineligibility and not, on a normal three year sentence, you would be eligible for parole after about nine months. You’d be looking at about nine months additional because you possessed it with attempt to distribute within a school zone.

NJ supreme court
Mr. Volet is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, a distinction that includes only a select group of New Jersey attorneys.

The certification recognizes an attorney has achieved a certain level of education, experience and skill in a particular area of law.

Mr. Volet focuses his practice exclusively on representing individuals charged with criminal offenses including drug crimes. He understands that not everyone charged with a drug crime is guilty as charged. He knows how to analyze the facts of a case and develop an effective defense strategy with our drug possession defense lawyers.

A man is handcuffed for drug possession in New Jersey
Depending on the specific facts and amount of drugs allegedly involved, Mr. Volet may be able to structure an argument that is persuasive to prosecutors and negotiate on the client’s behalf a plea agreement to a lesser charge that is more acceptable.

What Should I Expect When Facing a Drug Possession Charge?

The New Jersey criminal court system is complicated, and possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession cases can take a while to wend its way through the justice system.

That said, at almost every stage of the process, a skilled defense attorney can make maneuvers to negotiate on your behalf.
  • First appearance and bail:

    When you are arrested or receive a notice to appear in court, contact an attorney immediately so you have someone to represent you at your first appearance. This is when your bail will be set, and an experienced New Jersey drug possession attorney can demand the lowest possible bail for you, or request that you be released on your own recognizance.

  • Substance abuse evaluation:

    The court’s substance abuse evaluators will probably meet with you to test for illegal substances in your system. They will also discuss your history of drug use. Depending on how this evaluation goes, a judge may determine you should be sent to a drug treatment program.

  • Pre-trial negotiations:

    There is much legal maneuvering that occurs between the bail hearing and the actual trial. To prevent your drug possession case from even going to trial, a knowledgeable New Jersey drug crimes defense lawyer may try to persuade the prosecutor that the charges should be downgraded or dismissed. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may try to strike a plea deal to get the charges or the penalties severely reduced.

    A judge hears a drug possession case in New Jersey.If you are eligible, your defense lawyer may be request pre-trial intervention (PTI) to help you avoid formal prosecution altogether. Even if you have been indicted, a dedicated drug crimes defense attorney can continue negotiating to try to reach a favorable resolution for your case before trial.

    (Note that 70 percent of cases are resolved without the defendant having to go to trial.)

  • Trial and afterward:

    If you do end up having to go before a jury, that’s when your decision to hire a loyal and knowledgeable New Jersey drug defense litigator will really have an impact. Hiring an attorney with extensive trial experience and a thorough understanding of how a jury thinks is a definite advantage in a drug possession trial. A savvy defense attorney will also be thinking beyond the trial in case you need to appeal the decision later.

Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances

Jason A. Volet helps with drug possession cases in New Jersey.At the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, we know that facing a charge of possession of controlled dangerous substances can be extremely stressful, both for the person accused and for his or her family. Even a conviction on possessing small amounts of a controlled substance can result in serious penalties and long-lasting consequences.

As a former Monmouth County criminal prosecutor, Mr. Volet understands how these types of drug cases are handled. He also knows that having inadequate or inexperienced representation can mean defendants miss out on the many opportunities a defense attorney has to argue for charges to be reduced or dropped.

If your freedom and your future are on the line, you need a highly experienced and compassionate criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights.

Jason A. Volet working on a drug possession case in New Jersey.Mr. Volet is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, a distinction that indicates he has achieved an impressive level of education, experience, and skill in this area of law. Now, he stands ready to craft a strong defense for you.

Cellphone
Schedule a free consultation today to learn about your legal options if you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance or any other drug crimes.

What Is Considered a Controlled Dangerous Substance?

What is a cds drug? Many prescription drugs and illegal drugs fall under the controlled dangerous substance (CDS) category. New Jersey law defines a “controlled dangerous substance” as:

Drugs
  1. A drug, substance, or immediate precursor outlined in Schedules I through V
  2. Any substance the distribution of which is specifically prohibited, such as flunitrazepam and gamma hydroxybutyrate
  3. Any drug or substance that, when ingested, is metabolized or otherwise becomes a controlled dangerous substance in the human body

The term does not refer to liquor, wine, beer, or other alcohol and tobacco products.

What Are the Schedules of Controlled Substances?

In New Jersey, controlled dangerous substances are classified into five categories, known as “schedules.” These include:

Schedule I substances, which have:

  1. A high potential for abuse
  2. No accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. or no accepted safe use for treatment under medical supervision
Drugs
Examples of Schedule I controlled dangerous substances include (but are not limited to) heroin, marijuana, LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, etc.

Schedule II substances, which have:

  1. A high potential for abuse
  2. A currently accepted medical use in the U.S. with severe restrictions
  3. The potential to lead to psychological or physical dependence if abused
Drugs
Examples of Schedule II controlled dangerous substances include (but are not limited to) cocaine, opium, fentanyl, methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), Dexedrine, Adderall, Ritalin, etc.

Schedule III substances, which have:

  1. A potential for abuse that is less than the substances listed in Schedules I and II
  2. A currently accepted medical use for treatment in the U.S.
  3. The potential to lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence if abused
injection
Examples of Schedule III controlled dangerous substances in New Jersey include (but are not limited to) amphetamine, ketamine hydrochloride, anabolic steroids, certain medicines with codeine, substances containing barbituric acid, etc.

Schedule IV substances, which have:

  • A low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule III
  • A currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.
  • The potential to lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances listed in Schedule III
drugs
Examples of Schedule IV controlled dangerous substances include (but are not limited to) Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol, etc.

Schedule V substances, which have:

  • A low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV
  • A currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.
  • A limited potential for physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV
medicine
Examples of Schedule V controlled dangerous substances include (but are not limited to) cough medicines with codeine, etc.

Penalties for Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)

What is possession of CDS? A conviction on a drug possession offense can result in a wide range of repercussions, both immediately and down the line. In New Jersey, a drug possession conviction carries an average fine of $35,000, and a convicted person can face up to 10 years in prison.

Depending on what type of CDS you are accused of possessing, as well as the amount and any other mitigating factors. If caught in possession of CDS drugs you may be facing:

  • Jail time
  • Fines and other fees
  • Probation
  • Random drug testing
  • Drug counseling or classes

A man is in court for drug possession crimes.

Even after you complete a punishment, whether it’s serving out a prison sentence or completing drug classes, you may find yourself forever haunted by your criminal record.

A conviction for possession of CDS can hurt your chances of finding a job or obtaining any other goal that requires a background check.

An experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, Mr. Volet will fight every step of the way for the possession charges against you to be reduced or dropped. In addition to building a strong defense, our legal team will also identify any opportunities for pre-trial intervention (PTI) to avoid a conviction.

 

Contact Us Today to Speak to Our Knowledgeable Drug Crimes Law Firm

Jason A. Volet at court for a drug possession case in New JerseyAt the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, our dedicated defense team is committed to helping those charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance fight these serious accusations and avoid the harsh penalties they carry.

Whether you are charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute, or any other serious drug offense, we are here to help.

With extensive experience as both a drug crimes prosecutor and a loyal criminal defense lawyer, Jason A. Volet has handled more than 2,000 cases over the course of his legal career. He has earned a reputation as a fierce negotiator and a respected litigator, and he is committed to protecting the rights of clients in Freehold, Neptune, Marlboro, Middletown, Wall Township, Manalapan, Howell, Rumson, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Colts Neck, Holmdel, Monroe, Millstone, and anywhere else in Monmouth County and Middlesex County.

cellphone
Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey criminal defense law firm as soon as possible to talk through the details of your case. You can reach us online or by calling 732-491-8477. An initial consultation is always free and confidential.
convicted
In the state of New Jersey, a conviction of drug possession averages a fine of $35,000, or a convicted individual can face up to 10 years in jail.

Between his former position as a New Jersey drug crimes prosecutor and his current work as a defense lawyer, Jason A. Volet has tackled more than 2,000 criminal defense cases over the course of his career. He is a fierce negotiator and a skilled litigator, and he is dedicated to representing the rights of clients in Freehold, Marlboro, Middletown, Wall Township, Manalapan, Howell, Rumson, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Colts Neck, Holmdel, Monroe, Millstone, and anywhere else in Monmouth County and Middlesex County.

Jason A. Volet talks to a client about drug possession.
The New Jersey drug possession lawyers at the Law Office of Jason A. Volet are committed to helping our clients avoid such harsh penalties.

Schedule a consultation with us immediately, online or by calling 732-491-8477, if you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession. Our office is located at 28 Court Street, Freehold, NJ 07728.

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