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Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Piscataway NJ Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer
One of the more common disorderly persons offenses in Middlesex County is possession of drug paraphernalia. A primary reason for the high incident of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 (“Use or possession with intent to use; disorderly persons offense”) is the fact that it arises as a companion offense almost every time someone is charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine or heroin. For example, rolling papers, a bong or pipe is typically used to ingest marijuana so when someone is caught smoking this controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) a possession or use of drug paraphernalia charge is also filed. All that you need to do is sit in the municipal court in Woodbridge, East Brunswick, Piscataway, New Brunswick and Edison to realize just how often this offense is filed by police. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how, however, to deal with this charge so that every possible defense is fully explored and, if all else fails, you can secure admission in the conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention program so a criminal record is avoided. The lawyers at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver are seasoned advocates that, in many cases, are former prosecutors, and make up a defense team that has successfully defended thousands of drug paraphernalia cases. To discuss what an attorney on our staff can do to help you, call our Piscataway Office today at 732-562-0308. Initial consultations are free.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2
N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 governs use and possession of drug paraphernalia, making it a disorderly persons offense for someone to “use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance.” N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 defines and provides examples of what constitutes “drug paraphernalia”. The following 16 items are specifically listed in this statute: (1) pipes and bowels; (2) water pipes; (3) carburetion tubes and devices; (4) smoking and carburetion masks; (5) roach clips; (6) cocaine spoons and 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 that contain nitrous; (15) chargers or charging bottles; 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. If an object does not fall within one of these categories, the municipal court judge should consider the following factors in order to determine whether the item is drug paraphernalia:
- statements or admissions about its intended use
- proximity of the object to drugs/CDS
- residue or other evidence of illegal use
- direct or circumstantial evidence tending to demonstrate the intent of the accused
- instructions provided with the object
- descriptive materials that accompanying the object and explain its use
- intended use contained in advertising
- manner in which the object is displayed for sale
- legitimate uses
- expert testimony concerning its use
Explanation of this Law. As you can see, this law is extremely broad in defining what constitutes drug paraphernalia. The term not only includes items like a pipe, scale, plastic baggies, and rolling papers but virtually anything else that can be used to ingest, manufacture, produce, cultivate, measure, store or conceal a controlled dangerous substance. Three elements need to be proven by the state beyond reasonable doubt to convict someone under this statute. First, the prosecutor must establish that the item in question is drug paraphernalia. Second, the defendant must have used or possessed the object for one of the purposes prohibited by 2C:36-2. Third, the paraphernalia must have been used or intended to be used for a CDS activity that is illegal.
Penalties. This is a disorderly persons offense which results in a maximum sentence of six (6) months in the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center, a criminal record and a fine of up to $1,000. There is also a 6-24 month suspension of the driver’s license of the accused.
Woodbridge Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Defense Attorneys
There are many factors that contribute to Woodbridge having one of the busiest municipal courts. The township is not only one of the largest and most populated in Middlesex County but also happens to be a major traffic hub. All of this results in Woodbridge Township having some of the highest numbers for drug paraphernalia in the state. New Brunswick is also up there as the home of Rutgers University. If you have been charged with using or possessing drug paraphernalia in either town, call our Woodbridge Office or New Brunswick Office to speak to one of our defense attorneys immediately. A lawyer at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver is prepared to offer their thoughts as to your best strategy for successfully defending your drug paraphernalia offense. The consultation is free so do not hesitate to give us a call.
The lawyers at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver defend those charged with use or possession of drug paraphernalia in Middlesex County including in Piscataway, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Edison, Old Bridge, Sayreville, Monroe, Carteret, Metuchen, Middlesex, North Brunswick, Perth Amboy, South Brunswick, Plainsboro, South Plainfield, South River and Spotswood NJ.