Monmouth County Drug Crime Attorney
Being charged with a drug-related offense can cause a variety of questions and concerns. You can protect yourself with the best defense by working with a Monmouth County drug charge attorney.
No one ever wants to have a criminal conviction on his or her record, but this is especially true with drug-related offenses. Controlled substances and illegal drugs have a great deal of negative stigma attached to them, and a drug-related offense can cost you in more than just the legal penalties.
While imprisonment and fines are bad enough, the damage that a conviction will do to your reputation and future wellbeing cannot be measured. When you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, you have to fight to clear your name.
Winning an acquittal or getting your charges dismissed isn’t easy, however. By working with a Monmouth County drug crime lawyer from Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC, you’ll get an attorney on your side who knows how to build a compelling defense and who will never give up on your case.
Drug-Related Offenses in Monmouth County
There are a number of drug crimes that are enforced under New Jersey law. The quantity and type of controlled substance involved, where you were arrested, and who else was involved can all affect what you are charged with and the penalties involved.
These are the drug crimes most frequently charged in New Jersey:
- Possession – Possession is most frequently charged for small amounts of an illegal drug or controlled substance. At larger quantities, possession is most likely to be accompanied by an additional drug charge.
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Paraphernalia covers everything from pipes and bongs to baggies that contain a single marijuana seed. If the paraphernalia contains any residue or other drug remnants, you could also be charged with possession of a controlled substance.
- Manufacturing and Cultivation – If a large quantity and the paraphernalia involved in producing drugs or growing marijuana are found, you will be charged accordingly.
- Drug Trafficking – Transporting controlled substances is also illegal. If you are accused of transporting illegal drugs across state lines, the charge might rise to a federal offense.
- Drug Distribution and Selling – If the quantity of drug in your possession was large enough, you can be charged with intent to distribute. You can also be charged with distribution if someone accuses you of selling drugs.
The Specific Drug Involved Is Important
The penalties for your drug charge will also depend on the specific controlled substance that was involved in your arrest. For example, charges involving marijuana will probably be less serious than charges involving cocaine or heroin.
New Jersey mostly follows the federal drug schedules, although there are some exceptions. Marijuana, for example, is not treated as a schedule I drug; in fact, it’s legal for medicinal use with a prescription.
The drugs that are viewed as the most dangerous are grouped into schedule I, and they go down from there. Charges involving schedule I drugs will usually be the most serious.
- Schedule I – Examples include heroin and psychedelic mushrooms
- Schedule II – Examples include cocaine, crystal meth, oxycodone, morphine, and opium
- Schedule III – Examples include anabolic steroids and testosterone
- Schedule IV – Examples include Valium, Soma, Xanax, and Ambien
- Schedule V – Examples include cough medicines with codeine
New Jersey Penalties for Drug Crimes
Because there are so many variables involved in drug-related offenses, it can be difficult to know what sort of penalty to expect if you’re convicted. Your Monmouth County drug crime lawyer will help you determine what punishment the prosecution is likely to pursue.
While New Jersey doesn’t have felonies and misdemeanors, it does have a similar system of indictable offenses and disorderly person charges. In the case of an indictable offense, you’ll actually need to be charged by a grand jury in order to be tried.
Minor drug offenses, such as most paraphernalia charges and possession of small quantities of controlled substances, will be charged as disorderly person offenses. These are equivalent to misdemeanors in other states, and they carry a potential punishment of up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
More serious drug charges, on the other hand, are indictable offenses, equivalent to felonies in other states. A conviction will result in convicted felon status, as well as a prison sentence and a very large fine.
For the lowest level indictable offense, you’ll receive up to eighteen months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. However, the punishments for higher-degree indictable drug offenses can extend all the way to life sentences and up to $200,000 fines.
Defend Yourself Against Your Drug-Related Charges
Obviously, you need to do everything legally possible to beat your charges. Becoming a convicted felon will hinder your job and housing opportunities long after you’re released from prison—not to mention the impact to your reputation and personal relationships.
A Monmouth County drug crime lawyer from our firm will know how to develop the best defense for your case. Whether the drugs belonged to someone else, were for legitimate medicinal purposes, or were planted, we’ll gather the evidence needed to prove your side of the story.
In many cases, people are victimized by unlawful search and seizures. If the police didn’t have probable cause or a warrant, then this defense might be all we need to see your charges dismissed, as any drugs seized will become inadmissible as evidence.
Contact a Monmouth County Drug Charge Lawyer
Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC has the legal experience and dedication you want on your side when you’re facing criminal charges. No matter what drug offense you’ve been charged with, we won’t pre-judge you, and we won’t back down from the prosecution.
It all starts with a free and confidential case evaluation to discuss your case in detail, so schedule a time to meet with a Monmouth County drug crime lawyer today. Simply complete the form below or call 732-303-7857.