--Sean Branigan, Esq.
Drug offenses in New Jersey range from simple possession of small amounts of marijuana to being charged as a drug king pin, which carries a substantial jail sentence. Unlike other states, such as New York, even possessing marijuana or other common drugs (such as heroin or cocaine) may be treated as felonies and involve a potential jail sentence. Of course, being found guilty of possession of an illegal drug with the intent to distribute will always be charged as a felony. In New Jersey “distribution” also includes sharing or giving away illegal drugs, as well as actually selling drugs for profit.
You can be charged with a drug offense even though you did not actually have the drugs in your possession. For example, if you are in a car which is stopped and searched by the police, and drugs are found, you can be charged with joint possession of drugs, even though the drugs are not found on you. Similarly, if your home is searched and drugs are found there, you may be charged with a drug offense even though you are not home at the time and other people also reside in your home.
Possession and sale of illegal drugs is a crime under both New Jersey State law and under federal law. You will need the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the criminal court process.
Nobody beats more marijuana charges than us, because our firm rejects plea deals that leave our clients with long rap sheets. If there is not an official lab report filed within 90 days of the arrest for drug charges, witness testimony--even from police officers--is inconclusive in court. Don't be intimidated! Lawyer up!
If you’re a target by police, you get extraneous charges, like Possession, Possession to Distribute, and within 500 Feet of a School—and all of a sudden you’re facing three charges instead of one, and you’re either facing jail time or on permanent probation instead of just a small fine.