South Jersey Defense Lawyer for Heroin Possession & Distribution
New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Represents Clients Arrested on Heroin Possession and Distribution Charges in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout NJ
Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug in New Jersey and by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) under the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, meaning that it is highly addictive and dangerous and has no legally accepted use. This is true regardless of the form of heroin involved in your case. Because of this, the penalties are severe if you are convicted of heroin possession and distribution charges even though the potential penalties vary based upon the amount of heroin involved in your case. If you have been arrested for heroin possession and distribution charges in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey, you need a seasoned and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer by your side to craft the strongest possible defense in your case.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our skilled heroin possession and distribution defense lawyer will examine every piece of evidence that the prosecution has compiled in your case and even conduct our own investigation to identify all the available evidence in your case. Our legal defense team has the expertise that you need to build a defense that is both viable and effective, and we put all of our resources to work in every case we decide to take on.
Weight-Based Penalty System Governs Heroin Possession and Distribution Charges in New Jersey
As is the case with other drug charges, the penalties for heroin possession and distribution vary depending upon how much heroin you were found to possess. Even possession of a small amount of heroin (less than half an ounce) is punishable as a third-degree crime in New Jersey, meaning that you could face up to five years in jail and $35,000 in monetary fines, in addition to probation, ongoing drug testing, suspension of your driver’s license and other penalties. Other potential charges involving heroin possession and distribution may be charged as:
- First-degree crimes. Possession of five or more ounces of heroin is a first-degree crime that could result in up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
- Second-degree crimes. For possession with intent to distribute between half an ounce and five ounces of heroin, second-degree criminal penalties can apply, meaning that you could face between five and ten years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.
- Third-degree crimes. For possession with intent to distribute less than a half an ounce of heroin, third-degree charges will apply, meaning you face up to five years in prison and increased penalties of up to $75,000.
The penalties that apply in heroin possession and distribution cases are magnified if you are found with heroin within 1,000 feet of a school—and in these cases, you will face mandatory minimum jail term equal to one-third to one-half of the jail time imposed in your case, or three years, whichever time period is longer.
Results-Driven Heroin Charges Defense Lawyer Fights to Minimize Adverse Consequences for Camden County, NJ Clients
The increase in heroin abuse and dependency in New Jersey is related to the larger opioid crisis that has plagued much of the nation in recent years. The fact is that many who are addicted to opioids find it cheaper and more accessible than the opioid drug that initially caused them to become drug-dependent. Because of this, the state has become even more diligent in prosecuting heroin possession and distribution crimes to the fullest extent of the law, meaning that the courts are much more inclined to impose penalties at the higher levels of the available penalty scales. Despite this, for some clients charged with third-degree crimes, alternatives to formal prosecution and conviction may exist as courts do focus on rehabilitation in addition to punishment, especially for first-time offenders. Possible diversionary programs may include:
- Pre-trial intervention (PTI). If eligible for New Jersey’s PTI program, you will generally be subject to court supervision for between one and three years. You may be required to complete court-ordered drug rehabilitation and submit to random drug testing and any other conditions deemed appropriate by the court. The upside is that upon successful completion of the PTI program, you case will be dismissed without conviction.
- Drug Court. It may also be possible to have your case diverted to Drug Court, which is a subset of the New Jersey Superior Court system. Drug Court participation will also likely require intensive drug rehabilitation and other conditions during a period of court supervised probation.
Contact a Hard-Hitting Cherry Hill Heroin Possession & Distribution Defense Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today
Because of the dangerous nature of heroin, it is crucial that you get the advice of a seasoned defense lawyer if you have been arrested for heroin possession and distribution charges or have learned that you are the subject of an investigation in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey. Our heroin possession and distribution defense team is ready and available to go to work building the strongest possible defense in your case, so call or contact our office today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss options in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin Possession & Distribution Charges in New Jersey
FAQ: What if I was found in possession of heroin, but didn’t actually sell or otherwise distribute the drug? Can I still be charged with possession with intent to distribute?
Yes. There is no requirement that the prosecution prove that you actually did sell the heroin in order to charge and convict you of possession of heroin with intent to distribute-it is enough that they actually have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did possess the requisite amount to be charged with intent to distribute.
FAQ: What is constructive possession of heroin? Can I be charged if I didn’t actually have the drug on me?
Yes. Constructive possession of heroin is a charge available if the prosecution believes that it can prove you had the intent and ability to exercise physical control over the heroin involved in your case.