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Monmouth County Drug Possession & Distribution Offenses

December 18, 2023

Monmouth County Drug Possession & Distribution Offenses

Being charged with a drug offense can be scary. You may be facing fines, jail time, and other consequences that could seriously impact your life. This article provides an overview of common drug charges in Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as potential defenses and penalties.

Common Drug Charges

Some of the most common drug charges in Monmouth County include:

  • Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) – This includes drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription medications, and more. Possession charges depend on the type and amount of drugs involved.
  • Possession with intent to distribute – Being caught with a significant quantity of drugs may lead to charges of intent to sell or distribute.
  • Distribution and manufacturing – Actually making, selling, or transferring illegal drugs to another person.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia – Having items used for taking or making illegal drugs, like pipes, baggies, scales, etc.

Penalties for Drug Convictions

The penalties for a drug conviction vary widely depending on the exact charge and circumstances. Generally:

  • Possession of small amounts of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a max fine of $1,000.
  • Possession of larger amounts of marijuana or other CDS is a 3rd or 4th degree crime with longer jail terms and bigger fines.
  • Possession with intent charges are more serious 2nd degree crimes with 5-10 year prison sentences.
  • Selling and distributing drugs are 1st degree crimes with 10-20 years in prison.

Penalties are even harsher if the offense occurs within 1,000 feet of a school zone or if minors are involved. Prior drug convictions will also increase sentences.

Defenses for Drug Charges

There are several legal defenses that a knowledgeable attorney may use to get drug charges reduced or dismissed in Monmouth County. These include:

  • Illegal search and seizure – If the police violated your rights by searching you or your property without consent or probable cause, evidence found may be suppressed.
  • Insufficient evidence – The prosecution must prove you actually and knowingly possessed illegal drugs. Lack of fingerprints or other proof may get charges dismissed.
  • Misidentification – Eyewitness mistakes do happen. If the evidence points to someone else as the culprit, the case against you falls apart.
  • Entrapment – It’s illegal for police to coerce you into committing a crime you wouldn’t otherwise commit. A skilled lawyer can argue you were entrapped.

Finding the Right Lawyer

Facing drug charges is scary, but the stakes are too high not to have an experienced attorney by your side. Be sure to choose a lawyer who:

  • Focuses specifically on drug and criminal defense cases
  • Has extensive trial experience in Monmouth County courts
  • Will thoroughly investigate your case and form an aggressive defense
  • Understands diversion programs available to first-time offenders

With an attorney fighting for you, it may be possible to get charges significantly reduced or dismissed altogether. Don’t leave the outcome to chance.

Resources

For more information on New Jersey drug laws and potential defenses, check out these additional resources:

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