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Highland Park NJ CDS Distribution Lawyer
Middlesex County Former Prosecutors Defending Clients Charged With Distributing Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy, Xanax & Other Drugs in Highland Park New Jersey
A Highland Park criminal charge for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) is always a serious matter that requires a skilled lawyer. In fact, an offense for selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute drugs is always a felony whether the CDS is heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD or a few doses of Xanax or another prescription drug. Failure to avoid a conviction following an arrest exposes you to years in prison term, as well as tens of thousands in potential fines. Hiring the right defense attorney to defend you is therefore crucial if you have been charged with drug distribution in Highland Park or anywhere else in Middlesex County.
Our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, can provide you with the sound legal representation you need in this challenging time. Our staff of accomplished lawyers and former prosecutors include Jason Seidman, who served as the Director of the Gangs Guns & Drugs Task Force in Middlesex County. Jason and the other lawyers on our team have over 100 years of combined experience to put into action on your behalf. To speak to a lawyer with the knowledge and skill to ensure you have every chance of winning your case, contact our office. An attorney is available 24/7 for free consultation at 732-246-7126.
Highland Park CDS Distribution Offense
It is illegal under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 for anyone to distribute or sell CDS without a license to do so. In other words, an individual may only engage in this conduct if they are a pharmacist or licensed physician. Whens someone engages in these activities or possesses drugs with the intention of distributing them without the required authority to do so, they violate 2C:35-5. Separate and additional criminal charges arise when these activities occur in a school zone or public park in Highland Park.
When it comes to the distribution of a CDS, the type of drug you intended to distribute will have a major impact on your case. Marijuana is at the lower end of the spectrum, while the distribution of cocaine, heroin, and LSD are treated more severely. In New Jersey, CDS distribution charges are categorized into four different degrees or grades of offense. The most serious form of drug distribution someone can be charged with in Highland Park is a first degree crime and the least severe is one falling into the grade of a fourth degree crime. Most cases involving selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute CDS/drugs fall in the middle and into either a third degree crime or second degree crime. The falling is a breakdown of these categories and the penalties that apply at the time of sentencing:
- First Degree Crime. It is a first degree crime to engage in distribution of 25 lbs or more of marijuana, 5 ounces or more of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or MDMA (a.k.a. Molly or Ecstasy), 100 mg or more of LSD, or 10 or more grams of PCP, or 5 oz or more of P2P. Penalties for first degree distribution of CDS include a fine of up to $500,000 and between 10-20 years in prison.
- Second Degree Crime. Selling, distributing or possessing CDS with intent to distribute is a second degree crime where the charge involves at least 5 pounds but less than 25 pounds of marijuana, at least one-half ounce but less than 5 ounces of cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine or heroin, less than 100 mg of LSD, or 1 ounce or more of methadone, mescaline, peyote, opium, magic mushrooms, amphetamines, or DMT. It is also a second degree crime to distribute 100 or more dosage units of Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Valium, Adderall or another prescription drug. The standard penalties for second degree drug distribution are 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- Third Degree Crime. It is a third degree crime for someone to sell or distribute less than one-half ounce of heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy, Molly, MDMA or methamphetamine, at least 5 dosage units but less than 100 doses of a prescription drug, at least one ounce but less than 5 pounds of marijuana or any other Schedule I, II, III or IV CDS. The standard penalties for third degree distribution of CDS are 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000.
- Fourth Degree Crime. Possession with intent to distribute or distributing less than one ounce of marijuana, four or fewer dosage units of a prescription legend drug, or a Schedule V CDS in Highland Park results in a fourth degree crime. The penalties for fourth degree drug distribution include up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Defending a CDS Distribution Charge in Highland Park New Jersey
If you are innocent and haven’t done anything wrong, it’s vital that you preserve your constitutional rights. If need be, we can set the case for trial, collect the evidence and the police report, and let a jury decide the outcome. This is one possible scenario.
On the other hand, there might be a chance to have a distribution charge reduced to simple possession, perhaps with no conviction and some type of drug counseling, whereby after successful completion, the prosecutor will be willing to drop the case against you.
There is also a block of cases that our attorneys can dismiss because the charge can either not be proven or because the law was violated by the police or prosecutors. The latter basis may involve a search or seizure violation. Irrespective, our lawyers will explore every possible defense.
If you are first-time offender, you may also be a candidate for a diversion program known as Pretrial Intervention. Completion of Pretrial Intervention requires that you perform a certain amount of hours of community service and remain arrest and drug free. If you successfully complete these things, the prosecutor will dismiss the case.
Highland Park Drug Distribution Attorney
When you hire a drug distribution defense attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, you are obtaining representation from a formidable team. Our staff has decades of experience working at the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick where your CDS charge will be prosecuted. A lawyer who knows that court system and has helped countless individuals avoid jail and other penalties in the past is just a telephone call away. Call us at 732-246-7126 to learn what we can do to help you. Attorneys are standing by around the clock to assist you.