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Thousands of people are charged with drug offenses each year. Drug charges carry serious penalties, and you need experienced attorneys on your side. A New Jersey drug crime lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. can help you deal with possession charges. Contact us today for a consultation to learn more about how we can help you protect your rights.
Drug charges in New Jersey can be either indictable crimes or disorderly persons’ offenses. In other states, these are sometimes called “felonies” and “misdemeanors.” Defendants may be required to appear before the superior or municipal courts to resolve these charges. In some cases, these charges are also prosecuted at the federal court level.
Usually, police have solid evidence before they charge anyone with a drug crime. This evidence often includes drugs, needles and paraphernalia, cash, and surveillance reports and witnesses. Defendants often are at a severe disadvantage and need experienced representation.
Convictions on drug charges can carry severe penalties. Defendants may only have to pay a few hundred dollars in fines for small offenses. More serious offenders may receive many years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. For example, repeat drug sellers are likely to face at least three years of prison time with no parole option. Each New Jersey drug defense lawyer is very familiar with the details of sentencing and can assist clients in getting the best possible outcome under the law.
More serious drug charges are usually classified as first or second degree. At sentencing, the judge will usually send such a defendant to prison for several years. For example, a defendant trying to sell even a small amount of drugs near a school could receive three years in jail. Parole would not be optional during that time. This is true even when the defendant had no prior record. Only in cases where a defendant can show compelling circumstances will he avoid jail time. An experienced New Jersey drug lawyer can help to identify and present information that could help get a lighter sentence.
Most people also do not realize that convicted drug offenders in New Jersey could lose their driver’s license. Judges may revoke a defendant’s license for between six months and two years. Defendants who can show a hardship, such as caring for a sick relative, may be able to avoid losing their driver’s licenses. But the burden is on defendants and drug crime attorneys can help defendants to show the hardship.
Diversionary programs are sometimes available to defendants in New Jersey without prior records. These include the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI), Conditional Discharge, and Conditional Dismissal. These options enable a one-time drug user to avoid a criminal conviction if he or she stops using drugs. Defendants must show that they are worth admitting to these programs. The drug defense lawyers at Helmer, Conley and Kasselman, P.A. have assisted many clients with admission into these programs.
Our defense attorneys represent individuals charged with all types of drug-related offenses in New Jersey. Whether you are facing a disorderly persons charge for marijuana possession or you are at risk for long-term imprisonment for manufacturing, cultivation or distribution, we can use our extensive experience in New Jersey drug crime cases to protect you against unnecessary consequences.
Our practice includes defending clients in cases involving allegations of:
Under New Jersey law, “controlled dangerous substances” include all drugs listed on Schedules I through V of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) drug scheduling protocol. The statute applies to “analogs” of these drugs as well. Substances that can trigger drug crime charges in New Jersey include (but are not limited to):
If you have been charged with a drug crime in New Jersey, it is imperative that you not simply assume you will be convicted at trial. Even if you were caught “red-handed,” you could still have defenses available. Moreover, even if the evidence is such that you cannot avoid a conviction, there are still a number of ways that you can potentially fight to minimize your sentence at trial.
At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our drug charge attorneys rely on centuries of combined legal experience to present comprehensive defense strategies on behalf of our clients. When you engage our defense team to represent you, we will carefully examine the details of your case to determine what defenses you have available. We will work to challenge the prosecution’s case from all angles, and we will use our trial-tested defense tactics to protect you to the greatest extent possible. Some potential defense strategies in drug crime cases in New Jersey include:
The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) is a diversionary program that allows individuals charged with certain first-time drug offenses to avoid having a conviction on their permanent record. As explained by the New Jersey Courts:
“If PTI is successfully completed, there is no record of conviction and the defendant avoids the stigma of a criminal record. Although no record of a conviction exists, a defendant may want to file for an expungement to remove any record of the original arrest. . . . Early intervention allows rehabilitative services to be provided soon after the alleged offense, in an attempt to correct the behavior that led to the offense.”
If you are eligible for PTI or another diversionary program and pursuing entry into one of these programs is your best option, a New Jersey drug charge attrorney can help you take the steps necessary to protect your record.
The specific penalties you are facing will depend upon the specific crime (or crimes) with which you are being charged. Sentences for drug crimes in New Jersey vary depending upon a variety of factors, including the specific drug, the quantity of the drug, and the purpose for which it was possessed. Factors such as being arrested in a school zone or causing a serious or fatal accident can increase the penalties that are on the table as well.
Generally speaking, however, the sentencing ranges or some of the more-common drug crime charges in New Jersey include:
Drug crimes are prosecuted at the state and federal levels. At the state level, drug crimes are outlined in Title 2C:35 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. At the federal level, the Controlled Substances Act and various other statutes impose severe penalties for a broad range of drug crimes.
In order to prove that you are guilty of the crime alleged, prosecutors must prove all elements of the charge (or charges) against you beyond a reasonable doubt. There are numerous defenses to drug crimes in New Jersey; and, until you speak with a lawyer, you simply have no way of knowing if you are likely to be convicted at trial. Even if it appears that the prosecutor’s office may have enough evidence to secure a conviction, an experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your Constitutional defenses, pursue appropriate diversionary programs and take various other steps in order to mitigate the consequences of your arrest.
The attorneys on our criminal defense team have centuries of combined legal experience. We have successfully represented thousands of clients throughout New Jersey, and we offer unique insights based on our extensive experience fighting for clients in criminal courts statewide.
By representing individuals charged with all serious criminal offenses in New Jersey, we are able to develop and execute comprehensive defense strategies that are custom-tailored to the unique circumstances of each individual case. No case is too big or too small, and we can defend you regardless of what you have on the line.
Our defense attorneys are known statewide by clients, prosecutors and judges for their experience in criminal court. Our firm has a strong reputation for providing strategic and aggressive legal representation while compassionately attending to our clients’ individual needs.
While defending against drug crime charges in New Jersey is complicated, we focus on providing personalized and straightforward legal advice to our clients. We know the questions you want answered, and we will help you understand everything you need to know in order to help us execute a successful defense.
Most of all, when we take your case, we will do everything in our power to obtain the best possible outcome on your behalf. We are committed to securing justice for our clients, and we appreciate what it means to represent you when your freedom and future are on the line.
If you have been charged with a drug offense, you need experienced attorneys to guide you through the process. The attorneys at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. have helped hundreds of people charged with drug offenses to resolve their cases. We may be able to help you get into a diversionary program and avoid a conviction altogether. If your charges are more serious, we can attack the state’s case and possibly get evidence suppressed. We can almost always reduce the penalties you will face.
Drug charges are serious. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact a New Jersey drug crime lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. today at 856-547-7888. Call Us – Problem Solved.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.