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What Are the Penalties For Heroin Possession In New Jersey?

Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, simple possession of heroin is a crime of the third degree under the criminal code. In New Jersey, there are four levels of criminal offenses. Crimes of the first degree, crimes of the second degree, crimes of the third degree and crimes of the fourth degree.

Third Degree Possession Of Heroin

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C: 43-6, a third degree conviction can carry a term of imprisonment to be fixed by the court between three and five years in New Jersey state prison. However, an individual who is convicted of a third degree crime may also receive a sentenced to probation. A term of probation may be set by the court for up to five years. In some circumstances, probation may carry an additional period of incarceration in the county jail. An individual may be sentenced to a term of up to three hundred and sixty-four days in the county jail with a period of probation to follow.

Mandatory Fines for Heroin Possession.

In New Jersey, an individual who is convicted of possession of heroin and or possession of fentanyl will also have to pay a D.E.D.R. penalty. D.E.D.R. stands for Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction. The D.E.D.R. penalty for third-degree possession of heroin is $1,000.00. In addition to the D.E.D.R. penalty, an individual who is convicted of heroin may face an additional fine of up to $35,000.00.

Pre-Trial Intervention

The Pre-Trial Intervention program is a special program in New Jersey which is typically reserved for first time offenders. Under the program, an individual applies for and may be accepted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. If they are accepted, the individual will be placed on a period of probation that typically ranges from one to three years. If the individual successfully completes the program, the charges will be dismissed and any record of the heroin possession arrest may be expunged.

Second Degree Possession Of Heroin

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(2) if an individual is in possession of a quantity of heroin of one ounce or more but less than five ounces, that individual will be guilty of a crime of the second degree. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6, a second degree conviction carries a term of imprisonment to be fixed by the court between five and ten years in New Jersey state prison. Pursuant to the D.E.D.R. penalty referenced above, a second degree possession of heroin conviction carries a mandatory D.E.D.R. fine of $2,000.00. A fine of up to $75,000.00 may also be imposed.

Defenses To Heroin Possession

Notwithstanding the above penalties, there are many different defenses to possession of heroin. Those defenses can include challenging the reason why the police stopped the individual in the first place, challenging the reason the police conducted a search of the person, home or car and finally challenging the proof that the individual was actually in possession of heroin at trial. All of these defenses have been successfully raised by our defense attorneys. In fact, our attorneys have successfully obtained the dismissal of heroin charges on many different occasions.

If you or someone you know would like to speak with our Monmouth County drug crime lawyers about your possession of heroin case, call us anytime. You can also view our results by clicking here. Our attorneys offer a free consultation to anyone who has been charged with possession of heroin or any criminal offense throughout the state of New Jersey.


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