New Jersey Drug Charge Defense Lawyers
Respected Drug Charge Defense Lawyers Represent Clients in Gloucester County, Camden County, and Burlington County, NJ
A drug charge arrest in New Jersey can lead to serious criminal penalties even if it is your first offense. New Jersey drug laws have become increasingly harsh in recent years—even while many widely believe that crimes involving drugs like marijuana are no longer punished. An experienced drug charge defense lawyer will fight to protect your legal rights and work to minimize the penalties you might face.
Respected drug charge defense lawyer Hercules Pappas of the Hercules Law Group, LLC has successfully helped countless clients through the criminal process. He has over 20 years’ experience and knows how to beat drug charges, regardless of how simple or complex. With a skilled litigator and forceful negotiator from Hercules Law Group, LLC on your side, you can rest assured that you have a strong advocate fighting to protect your rights every step of the way.
Hercules Law Group, LLC works hard for our clients and it shows in the number of satisfied clients the firm has helped navigate the legal process. You want a lawyer with a proven track record of success to fight the charges against you. At Hercules Law Group, LLC, you can expect a lawyer who is considerate, easy to talk to, and who will never push you to accept a plea.
The firm reviews your case for free, so contact Hercules Law Group, LLC to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced drug charge defense lawyer today.
New Jersey Drug Charges and Penalties
New Jersey drug laws are detailed, and the penalties for a drug charge conviction can vary dramatically depending upon a number of factors. Some of those factors include:
- How much of the drug was in your possession?
- Did you intend to sell the drugs for profit?
- How are the drugs involved classified on the list of controlled dangerous substances?
- Are you a first-time offender?
Drugs are classified as controlled dangerous substances based upon whether there is an accepted medical use for the drug and their addictive qualities. Charges involving Schedule I substances carry the harshest penalties. For example:
- Schedule I substances include drugs like heroin, MDMA and LSD
- Schedule II substances include drugs like cocaine, oxycodone and Adderall
- Schedule III substances include drugs like amphetamines and drugs with codeine
Whether you intended to sell the drugs for profit is also a strong indicator of how serious your punishment will be, and can be inferred from the surrounding circumstances. A large quantity of illegal drugs can lead to the conclusion that the defendant intended to sell those drugs, as can whether the drugs were separated and packaged for sale. Examples of New Jersey drug charges and their potential penalties include:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia (pipes, bowls, syringes, etc.), which is a disorderly persons offense that can carry up to six months’ in prison, $500-$1,000 in fines and a driver’s license suspension
- Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana is also a disorderly persons offense
- Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana is a fourth-degree felony that can carry up to 18 months in jail
- Possession of cocaine, heroin or oxycontin is a third-degree crime that can result in three to five years in prison and substantial financial penalties ($35,000 is about average)
- Possession of four or fewer prescription drug pills with the intent to distribute for profit is a fourth-degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5 that can result in up to 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines
Defenses to New Jersey Drug Charges
An experienced drug charge defense lawyer will evaluate the full circumstances surrounding the allegations against you to build a comprehensive, persuasive defense strategy tailored to your case. Common defenses to drug charges include:
- Lack of probable cause for a traffic stop
- Lack of a valid search warrant to search your property
- Lack of probable cause to request a search of your vehicle
- The police failed to explain your right to refuse consent to search your vehicle
- There was no actual or constructive drug possession
The range of defense options in drug charge cases is as diverse as the charges themselves. In many cases, a skilled lawyer can move to have evidence excluded based upon the police actions in searching for the drugs. Without full evidence, the prosecution could drop the charges against you or decide to charge you with a lower grade crime.
First-time offenders may also be eligible to participate in a diversionary program if the charges are relatively minor. A diversionary program is a type of probation. The judge imposes restrictions, such as refraining from any criminal activity, completing counseling and submitting to random drug testing. Upon completion, the charges against you are dropped and you can move to have the arrest expunged.
Hercules Law Group, LLC works with the best lawyers to offer clients the best chance of getting a positive outcome. To learn more, schedule a free case review today.
Speak with an Experienced New Jersey Drug Charge Defense Lawyer Today
When facing drug charges, even those involving marijuana, you need a strong legal team by your side. Hercules Law Group, LLC will work with you every step of the way, fighting to protect your rights and advocating fiercely on your behalf. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling the firm’s office or filling out this online contact form today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Charges in New Jersey
No. You have the right to an attorney before answering any police questions. However, you should remain polite and calm, and simply tell the officer you will wait to answer any questions until you have an attorney present. This is your constitutional right. An attorney can work to protect your legal rights, and help make sure you don’t give away any information that could inadvertently incriminate you.
Yes, in some circumstances, the judge can order a driver’s license suspension. Unlike in DUI/DWI cases, however, the license suspension is not necessarily set in stone in all cases. Our lawyers can work to show that loss of your driver’s license would create an undue hardship given the circumstances. Having a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer by your side gives you the best chance of keeping your license.