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Ocean County Drug Possession Attorneys
Charges for possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) carry significant penalties and consequences in the State of New Jersey. If convicted, a defendant will have a permanent criminal record, face excessive monetary fines and costs and may be placed on probation or sentenced to a term of incarceration by the Court. In addition, convictions for CDS under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 et. al., N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 or 2C:36-6 all carry a mandatory loss of driving privileges for a period of up to two (2) years. Finally, those charged and found guilty of possessing CDS in a Motor Vehicle pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1 will also face significant fines and a mandatory 2 year Driver’s License suspension. At both the Municipal and Superior Court level, diversionary programs exist that may allow certain first time offenders of several CDS and drug paraphernalia offenses to serve a period of probation and ultimately have the charges dismissed upon successful completion of either the Conditional Discharge (CD) or Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) Program.
Substances considered to be illegal to possess in the State of New Jersey are enumerated in Schedules I-V and include a wide array of drugs, prescription medications, chemical compounds, CDS analogs and synthetic substances. Possession of these substances expose an individual to the various fines and penalties listed above, as well as a mandatory Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction (DEDR) Penalty; which may be as much as $3,000.00. Dependent upon which type of illegal substance is found to be in your possession, and/or the quantity of same, you may be charged with either a disorderly persons offense, to be handled in Municipal Court, or an indictable crime to be adjudicated in the Superior Court of the county where the incident occurred. In addition, distribution of or intent to distribute CDS will charged as an indictable offense and may require mandatory terms if incarceration in New Jersey State Prison. The seriousness of these types of offenses requires that you consult with and retain an attorney well versed in the myriad of legal defenses that may be available to you regarding your particular charge.
Nicholas Moschella; the owner of the firm, maintains his office in Ocean County, and as near life-long resident as well as former Municipal Prosecutor in over 20 towns, is well experienced in all criminal matters. Call the Law Office of Nicholas A. Moschella, Jr, LLC today for a FREE CONSULTATION at (732) 930-3482.
Ocean County Drug Paraphernalia Attorneys
Brick Township CDS Paraphernalia Lawyers
In New Jersey, possession of any objects categorized as Drug Paraphernalia, will expose an individual to the exact fines and penalties as if the person possessed drugs themselves. These items determined by the legislature to be drug paraphernalia, are listed under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 and provide a non-exhaustive directory of objects, devices and containers prohibited to be possessed in this state. A Finding of guilt under chapter 36 of our criminal code; that is, all charges beginning with 2C:36, will result in a permanent criminal record, significant fines and costs, a mandatory loss of your driving privileges for a period up to two (2) years as well as possible probation and/or a jail term. The most common drug paraphernalia charges fall under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 (Possession, use or intent to use Drug Paraphernalia) or 2C:36-6 (Possession or Distribution of Hypodermic Syringe). Charges under both of these sections are Disorderly Persons Offenses; punishable by a $1,000.00 fine and six (6) months in the county jail. As with Possession of CDS Offenses, additional fines and costs due to mandatorily imposed Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction (DEDR) Penalties are incurred to those found guilty of any drug paraphernalia offenses. “Drug Paraphernalia” as it relates to violations of charges under 2C:36 et. al, is defined as:
…all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical in violation of the provisions of chapter 35 of this title. It shall include, but not be limited to: a. kits used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled dangerous substance or from which a controlled dangerous substance can be derived; b. kits used or intended for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing controlled dangerous substances or controlled substance analogs; c. isomerization devices used or intended for use in increasing the potency of any species of plant which is a controlled dangerous substance; d. testing equipment used or intended for use identifying, or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness or purity of controlled dangerous substances or controlled substance analogs; e. scales and balances used or intended for use in weighing or measuring controlled dangerous substances or controlled substance analogs; f. dilutants and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, mannite, dextrose and lactose, used or intended for use in cutting controlled dangerous substances or controlled substance analogs; g. separation gins and sifters used or intended for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining, marihuana; h. blenders, bowls, containers, spoons and mixing devices used or intended for use in compounding controlled dangerous substances or controlled substance analogs; i. capsules, balloons, envelopes and other containers used or intended for use in packaging small quantities of controlled dangerous substances or controlled substance analogs; j. containers and other objects used or intended for use in storing or concealing controlled dangerous substances, controlled substance analogs or toxic chemicals; k. objects used or intended for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marihuana, cocaine, hashish, hashish oil, nitrous oxide or the fumes of a toxic chemical into the human body, such as (1) metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls; (2) water pipes; (3) carburetion tubes and devices; (4) smoking and carburetion masks; (5) roach clips, meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a marihuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand; (6) miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials; (7) chamber pipes; (8) carburetor pipes; (9) electric pipes; (10) air-driven pipes; (11) chillums; (12) bongs; (13) ice pipes or chillers; (14) compressed gas containers, such as tanks, cartridges or canisters, that contain food grade or pharmaceutical grade nitrous oxide as a principal ingredient; (15) chargers or charging bottles, meaning metal, ceramic or plastic devices that contain an interior pin that may be used to expel compressed gas from a cartridge or canister; and (16) tubes, balloons, bags, fabrics, bottles or other containers used to concentrate or hold in suspension a toxic chemical or the fumes of a toxic chemical.
While all items listed above are considered illegal to possess as per the statute, several factors must be considered in order to determine whether or a not a specific object is in fact Drug Paraphernalia. Such factors include statements by the owner or possessor of said object concerning it’s use; where the object was found in relation to any specific CDS; the existence of any residue or trace amounts of CDS on the object and/or any direct or circumstantial evidence suggesting the intended use, distribution or actual use of an object as it relates to facilitate ingestion of any CDS by its possessor or owners. In short, mere possession of these items will trigger a charge under 2C:36 et. al; unless an experienced and skilled attorney is retained to aid in the explanation and exploration of any factual or legal defenses that may be available in a particular case. Nicholas A. Moschella, Jr. has handled countless drug and drug paraphernalia cases at both the Superior and Municipal Court level both as a criminal defense attorney as well as a former Municipal Prosecutor. While diversionary programs exist for certain first time offenders of these types of offenses, an experienced attorney is absolutely necessary to ensure your eligibility and entry into same.
CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE PROGRAM
Throughout the Municipal Courts in the State of New Jersey, certain first time offenders of drug offenses may be afforded the opportunity the enter into a diversionary program known as the Conditional Discharge (CD) Program. Receiving a Conditional Discharge is beneficial in countless aspects and will drastically reduce the imposed penalties and fines onto a particular defendant charged with a drug or drug paraphernalia offense. While being found guilty of any of these CDS related offenses carry a permanent criminal record, mandatory loss of your driving privileges, significant fines and additional monetary sanctions for drug offenses, being allowed entry into the CD program avoids the most significant of those consequences.
In order to be eligible for the program, a defendant must have never before been convicted of a drug related offense in neither New Jersey nor any other State. In addition, an applicant for the program must have never before been enrolled in either the CD, PTI or any other diversionary program providing for “supervisory treatment.” If eligible, an application may be made to the Judge of the Municipal Court where the charge occurred. Those defendant’s granted a Conditional Discharge will not only avoid a mandatory loss of their driver’s license, but will have the charges completely dismissed upon completion of the probationary period; which may be up to two (2) years in duration. This will allow for eligibility for an expungement of the original charges within months of the programs completion; ultimately allowing a defendant to avoid having any criminal record. Entry into the program is not a matter of right as per the applicable statute; and will only be granted upon motion of the Court itself or the defense.. N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6A-1 provides:
Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under section 20 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-20), or a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense defined in chapter 35 or 36 of this title or, subsequent to the effective date of this title, under any law of the United States, this State or any other state relating to marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs, is charged with or convicted of any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under chapter 35 or 36 of this title, the court upon notice to the prosecutor and subject to subsection c. of this section, may on motion of the defendant or the court:
(1) Suspend further proceedings and with the consent of the person after reference to the State Bureau of Identification criminal history record information files, place him under supervisory treatment upon such reasonable terms and conditions as it may require; or
(2) After plea of guilty or finding of guilty, and without entering a judgment of conviction, and with the consent of the person after proper reference to the State Bureau of Identification criminal history record information files, place him on supervisory treatment upon reasonable terms and conditions as it may require, or as otherwise provided by law.
Nicholas A. Moschella is a former Municipal Prosecutor in over 20 towns throughout Ocean and Monmouth Counties, dealing with countless cases involving Conditional Discharge applications. As entry into the CD program is within the discretion of the Court, and not automatically granted to all first time offenders, it is absolutely necessary that a skilled and knowledgeable attorney assist you in not only determining your eligibility for the program, but to assist you in your defense of the case as well as your Conditional discharge application to the Court. Call The Law Office of Nicholas A. Moschella, Jr., LLC at (732) 930-3482 today for a FREE CONSULTATION.
Schedules of CDS
Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances
The substance has high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or it lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision. (N.J.S.A. 24:21-5)
- 2C-B (Nexus, Venus)
- 5-MeO-DMT (DMT)
- Benzylpiperazine (BZP)
- Cannabis, Marijuana
- Dimethyltryptamine (DMT, Fantasia, Businessman’s Special)
- Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)v
- Hashish, Hash Oil
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (Acid, LSD)
- MDMA (Ecstasy)
- Mephedrone ( Bath Salts)
- Psilocybin( Mushrooms)
- Synthetic Cannabinoids(Spice, K2, Herbal Incense)
- Tenamfetamine 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) Mescaline and Peyote
Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substances
The substance has a high potential for abuse and has currently accepted medical use in the United States with severe restrictions. In addition, abuse of a Schedule II C.D.S. may lead to psychic or physical dependence. (N.J.S.A.24:21-6)
- Amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine, etc.)
- Crack Cocaine
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Fentanyl (China White, Apache, Lollipop, King Ivory, etc.)
- Methadone (Dolophine, Dollies, Fizzies, Wafer)
- Methamphetamine (Meth), Crank, Ice, Speed
- Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin, Concerta, Smarties, Skittles)
- Morphine (Morph, Miss Emma, Dreamer)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Schedule III Controlled Dangerous Substances
The substance has a potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedule I and II and has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. In addition, abuse of a Schedule III C.D.S. may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. ( N.J.S.A. 24:21-7)
- Amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine)
- Anabolic Steroids
- Dronabinol (Marinol)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Morphine (less than 50mg per 100g or with a non-narcotic medication added )
- Xyrem (containing GHB)
Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substances
The substance has low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule III and has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. In addition, abuse of a Schedule IV C.D.S. may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances listed in Schedule III. (N.J.S.A. 24:21-8)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Certain Products Containing Codeine
- Chloral Hydrate
- Clonazepam (Klonipin, Valpax)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Flunitrazepam (Date-Rape Drug)
- Lorazepam, Ativan
- Zolpidem (Ambien, Stillnox, Zolpimist)
Schedule V Controlled Dangerous Substances
Typically includes other higher schedule drugs in lower doses. Schedule V substances have low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV and has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. In addition, abuse of a Schedule V C.D.S. may cause limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV. (N.J.S.A. 24-21-8.1)
Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction (DEDR) Penalties
Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction (DEDR) Penalties are mandatory additional assessments against those found guilty of any drug related offenses codified under Chapter 35 of Title 2C of New Jersey Statutes Annotated. (N.J.S.A. 2C:35 et. al.). Whether it is for Possession of CDS, Intent to Distribute CDS or Distribution of CDS, a defendant will be subjected to the mandatory DEDR penalty for the particular degree of the offense or crime. These penalties range in severity depending upon the particular grade of offense an individual defendant is found or pleads guilty. These penalties are in addition to, not a substitute for the mandatory fines and costs associated with the particular Degree of the offense a defendant is found guilty of. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-15 provides in pertinent part:
a. In addition to any disposition authorized by this title, the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43), or any other statute indicating the dispositions that can be ordered for an adjudication of delinquency, every person , other than an indigent defendant who is entitled to the services of the Office of the Public Defender as determined by the factors set forth in section 14 of P.L.1967, c.43 (C.2A:158A-14), convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter or chapter 36 of this title shall be assessed for each such offense a penalty fixed at:
(1) $3,000.00 in the case of a crime of the First Degree;
(2) $2,000.00 in the case of a crime of the Second Degree;
(3) $1,000.00 in the case of a crime of the Third Degree;
(4) $750.00 in the case of a crime of the Fourth Degree; and
(5) $500.00 in the case of a Disorderly or Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses.
POSSESSION WITH INTENT – DISTRIBUTION OF CDS
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5., Distributing or Dispensing.
a. Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:
(1) To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or
(2) To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.
If you have been arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute a CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) in New Jersey, you may face penalties and consequences including mandatory State Prison Sentences, fines in excess of $35,000 as well as Probation Terms and loss of Driving Privileges. Charges for Possession with Intent can be proven by the State without an actual Distribution or completed sale of any drugs. Persons with prior convictions of Possession with Intent or Distribution, Manufacturing or Dispensing CDS may face jail sentences with mandatory extended terms and/or minimum periods of parole ineligibility with their prison terms. In addition, the quantity and type of drugs you are found to be in possession of determine the degree of crime of which you can be charged. All of these possible consequences may become even more severe if the Crime is charge while on or within 1000 feet of School Property or within 500 feet of Certain Public Property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 et. al. Call the Law Office of Nicholas A. Moschella, Jr., LLC for a FREE CONSULTATION in your matter 24/7 at (732) 930-3482.