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New Brunswick Cocaine Defense Lawyer
Cocaine may have once been a drug of the past but this certainly is no longer the case in Middlesex County. Our lawyers have witnessed the resurgence of few controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) like that of cocaine. The result has been more individuals charged with possession of cocaine and distribution of cocaine in Woodbridge, Edison, East Brunswick, New Brunswick and other locations in this county. Jason Seidman, an attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall knows this as much as anyone as the former supervisor of the gangs, guns and drugs task force of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Mr. Seidman and the other skilled attorneys at our firm, several of whom are also former prosecutors, possess over a century of combined experience handling cocaine charges at the Middlesex County Superior Court. If you were arrested for any cocaine offense, even possession with intent to distribute, we clearly have the experience to make a real difference. A lawyer on our team is available for a free consultation immediately by contacting our New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126.
Charged With Cocaine Possession Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10
Possession of cocaine is illegal in New Jersey under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. This law makes it a third degree crime to actually or constructive possess cocaine in any quantity. If you are convicted at the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick of possessing this form of controlled dangerous substance in Old Bridge, Piscataway, Sayreville or another municipality, you face enhanced penalties. The fine is increased to $35,000 for third degree possession of cocaine and you are also subject to up to five years in state prison. There is also a $1,000 Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction Penalty (“DEDR”) that must be imposed. The driver’s license of anyone convicted of cocaine possession must be suspended for at least six months and up to two years. For a more detailed discussion of cocaine possession click here.
Possession in a School Zone. Unlike possession with intent to distribute which results in a separate offense for distribution in a school zone, there is no additional charge in personal possession cases. Instead, an individual must perform at least 100 hours community service in the event that no term of imprisonment is imposed at the time of sentencing.
Cocaine Distribution Offense
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 (“Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing”) makes it a crime to manufacture, distribute or dispense cocaine in New Jersey. The degree of the offense and severity of penalties for selling or distributing cocaine hinge on the quantity possessed with intent to distribute. There are three elements that must be established by the prosecutor in order to convict you of cocaine distribution in South Plainfield, Perth Amboy or Monroe. First, the state must prove that the substance in question was cocaine. Second, the accused must have manufactured, dispensed or distributed. Third, the defendant’s conduct must have been knowing or purposeful. When these proofs have been presented and the weight of the cocaine is five or more ounces, the violation is a first degree crime. If the amount distributed is at least one-half ounce but less than five ounces, the offense is a second degree crime. It is a third degree crime to sell or possess less than one-half ounce of cocaine with the intent to distribute. You may refer to our cocaine distribution page for additional information on this subject by clicking here.
Penalties. First degree distribution of cocaine results in a fine of up to $500,000 and a prison term of 10-20 years. The sentence must also include a minimum term of imprisonment to be set at between one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed during which the defendant cannot be considered for parole. Distributing cocaine in the second degree carries a term of incarceration of 5-10 years and the possibility of a fine of $150,000. Third degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine triggers imprisonment of up to five years and a fine that can reach $75,000.
Distribution in a School Zone or Public Park. When someone distributes cocaine within 1,000 feet school property, a separate school zone violation arises. A similar offense results where distribution is within 500 feet of a public park or housing project.
Old Bridge NJ Cocaine Offense Defense Attorneys
Old Bridge is a popular commuter suburb that is also the third most populated in Middlesex County. Cocaine and other drugs arise there just like elsewhere in the region. If you are facing a cocaine offense in Plainsboro, South Brunswick or Carteret, you need to take the charge seriously. A conviction for any variety of cocaine violation results in a felony criminal record and significant penalties, including the possibility of years in prison. The defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will make sure that you avoid negative results such as these. To speak to a lawyer with the tools to avert a guilty finding, call our East Brunswick Office at 732-227-1200.