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Employing a Minor to Distribute Drugs
If you have been charged with employing someone under eighteen (18) years age to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) in Middlesex County, you face serious penalties if you are convicted. Failure of your lawyer to successfully defend the offense of employing a minor to sell heroin, marijuana, cocaine or another drug will result in tens of thousands in fines and years in state prison. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have the skills to protect you against an unfavorable outcome with over 100 years of experience including significant time serving in and outside of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. To discuss the charge that was filed against you in New Brunswick, Highland Park, South Amboy, Sayreville or Edison, call one of our local offices. The consultation is free of charge.
Charge for Employing a Minor To Sell Drugs in Middlesex County
The first thing you probably want to know is what the prosecutor needs to establish in order to convict you of this violation. To prove a N.J.S.A. 2C:35-6 offene, the state must establish five (5) elements.
- The defendant must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. A juvenile may not be charged with this offense, even if they engage in the same activity as their adult counterpart. In addition, if the charge is based on allegations of aiding and abetting the principal actor, the principal actor must be at least 18 years of age.
- There must have been a drug distribution scheme in place. This requirement may be satisfied in the form of maintaining and/or operating a drug production facility. It may also involve the manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute, manufacture or dispense of the controlled dangerous substance. A person would not, therefore, be subject to this violation if they employed a juvenile to purchase marijuana for them for personal use without the intent to subsequently distribute the marijuana to another.
- The person employed must be a minor.
- The defendant must have employed the minor in a distribution scheme.
- The defendant’s conduct was intentional. The final element of the offense relates to the state of mind of the defendant. It is necessary for conviction that the defendant acted knowingly in order to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance. More simply put, it requires that the defendant knew that he was distributing a controlled dangerous substance and not something legal. It does not matter, however, whether or not he or she knew the person in his or her employ was under eighteeen (18) or that the mistake may have been reasonable. All that matters is the state of mind as to the drugs. If they knowingly wanted to disperse drugs, then they satisfy the final element of the offense.
Penalties for Employing a Minor to Distribute Drugs
If you are found guilty under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-6, it is a second degree crime with severe consequences. The first of these is that you will be subject to a prison term of five (5) to ten ten (10) years. In addition, the time you spend in jail shall be subject to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. In this regard, you will have to serve at least five (5) years in prison before you are even eligible for parole; meaning, the absolute minimum period you will actually serve in prison will be five (5) years. In addition to this jail time, the potential fine is significant and is $500,000 or five times the street value of the CDS involved in the distribution scheme.
New Brunswick Defense Lawyer for Employing a Juvenile To Distribute CDS
Employing a juvenile in a distribution scheme is a serious offense that results in extreme penalties if you are found guilty. The charge certainly is not something to be handled by a lawyer who has limited experience in the defense of CDS distribution offenses. Our attorneys have been defending complex drug cases for several decades including violations in Edison, Cranbury, Monroe, Piscataway and Old Bridge. To discuss a pending matter immediately, call our New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126.