What To Do If You’re Arrested For Drug Possession At The Jersey Shore
While the Jersey Shore may have a reputation as a fun and hip party place, it is still important to know the drug laws. Drug possession is not only illegal in New Jersey, but it can also lead to harsh consequences, including jail time. Knowing the laws ahead of time can help you have a good time this summer without leaving the beach with criminal charges.
Jersey Shore Drug Possession Laws
New Jersey, and the Jersey Shore particularly, have taken a stand against drug use in the area. In 2016, they cracked down on drug use through Operation Southern Shield. This program led to 20 arrests involving drugs of all types, including heroin and marijuana. While the goal of the program was to reduce mid-level distributors, even users with minimal possession can be left to deal with the potential consequences.
Drug possession in New Jersey is typically a third-degree offense. This means:
- Between 3-5 years in prison
- Legal fines up to $35,000
Marijuana, however, is treated differently. Most possession charges that involve marijuana are a disorderly persons offense, which means charges are handled in a local court and fines are up to $1,000. Additionally, New Jersey is currently taking steps toward decriminalization and most counties have recently legalized the use of marijuana.
These laws are newer and the details of them have not yet been established. This means that you could still receive charges, even for the possession of marijuana. The class and quantity of drugs in possession do make a difference when it comes to the potential consequences. It also makes a difference if it is a first charge, or if the person has been charged with drug possession previously. For this reason, the potential consequences vary significantly from case to case.
What is a Plea Deal?
A plea deal is an agreement to plead no contest or guilty to a charge in return for a lower sentence. This is a common method of negotiating charges. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to work with a criminal defense lawyer on your charges. While a plea deal may be the right choice for you, it is important to consider the implications of any charges that you agree to.
Potential Drug Possession Defenses
If a plea deal is not right for you, you may have other options available. A few other potential defenses to drug possession might include:
- Illegal search
- Probable cause
- Improper lineup
- Racially profiled
Drug possession charges can get tricky. In addition to proving possession of the drugs, the police officer must also prove that you were knowledgeable of the possession. It is important that you work with a drug defense lawyer who not only knows the latest New Jersey drug possession laws, but that they also know the available defenses and when and how to apply them.
If you are dealing with drug possession charges, it is important to take action soon. Your future is at stake and you need a lawyer who can negotiate with your best interests in mind.
Contact an Experienced Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Possession Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug-related offense in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Gelman Law represent clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-474-1450 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 850 Rt 70 West Cherry Hill, NJ 08002.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.