What Are Some Of The Most Common Drug Offense Cases That Your Firm Typically Handles In New Jersey?
Our firm mostly handles drug distribution and drug sales of cocaine, heroin, and crack. Drug distribution and sales are the most popular and frequently seen cases. Marijuana was recently legalized in New Jersey. The attorney general has been withholding their decision, but recently came out and decided that all pending drug cases that were under a certain amount will be dismissed. The ones that were previously adjudicated will be erased and expunged. As a result, that cuts out a big chunk of some of the cases that we represented that involved marijuana possession and/or distribution.
For Anyone Who Has Pending Charges, What Do They Need To Do? Do They Still Need To Contact An Attorney To Get The Ball Rolling Or Is It Automatic?
In my opinion, you don’t need an attorney to help you with pending marijuana charges. Moreover, marijuana cases don’t make up a big percentage of business in my firm. Most of clients are mid-level drug dealers. They know what they’re getting into. They’re in the game. My firm handles a lot of higher level drug cases that involve wiretaps or long-range investigations. These types of cases can be lucrative. However, they take longer and are usually more work.
How Is A Drug Charge In New Jersey Determined? How Do You Know Whether It’s Going To Be Charged As A Misdemeanor Or Felony?
In New Jersey drug charges all start off as felonies since marijuana is now legal. There are no misdemeanor drug offenses. However, under certain circumstances, a drug offense could be downgraded or remanded back to municipal court depending on the weight and the drug.
What Would Be A Circumstance That Would Downgrade Or Remand A Drug Charge Back To Municipal Court?
Drug cases that are straight possession for first time, second time, or subsequent offenders can sometimes be downgraded to municipal court. If you get caught with two Xanax pills, that’s a third-degree offense in New Jersey. A third degree offense carries a sentence of three to five years in state prison. Normally, if you have a small amount of drugs for personal use and don’t have much of a criminal record, your case will be remanded back to municipal court. At municipal court, they will take state prison off the table and you won’t get a criminal conviction.
What Is Distribution? How Does Someone Become Charged With Possession And Distribution?
Drug distribution is determined by a whole host of different things that are taken into account. For instance, the weight of the amount of a drug will determine whether there will be a distribution charge. A half ounce of cocaine and under is a third degree. Over a half ounce, but under five ounces is a second degree. Over five ounces is a first degree crime. A first degree crime results in a prison term of 10 to 20 years. Therefore, weight is the first category the authorities look at to determine whether you’ll be charged with distribution. Second, they might look at the packaging. Was the drug in one big bag or was it in 100 separate smaller individually wrapped bags? Individually wrapped bags is a clear indication that someone meant to distribute that to different people. Sometimes it’ll be in the bag. Sometimes the bags will be separate and empty, but you are able to tell that the bags were meant to be filled.
Third, there might be certain tools that indicate they were there for distribution. The most common tool is a scale. A scale is used to weigh the baggies to make sure they’re all the same weight. If the drug was meant for personal use, you don’t really need a scale. A scale is one of the tricks of the trade that drug dealers use. The authorities will also look at the different paraphernalia they find with the drugs.
The fourth thing they look for is the amount of cash that the person has on them. If the person has $25 on them, they’re not a very good drug dealer or maybe they haven’t sold anything yet. However, if they have over $5,000 cash on them on a regular Tuesday morning, that’s an indication of distribution. A fifth determination of distribution might be if they saw a hand-to-hand transaction. Did they see someone waiting in a certain area? Are they on a known drug corner? Did they meet somebody quickly and then leave the area? Their actions, the amount of cash they have on them, the packaging, and the weight are all factors that help determine whether to charge someone with distribution or simple possession for personal use.
For more information on Drug Cases in New Jersey, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (856) 499-8066 today.