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Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of CDS
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c) Charge Defense Lawyer
A charge that has become increasingly prevalent since its advent by the legislature in 1988 is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c), titled “Failure to Make Lawful Disposition” of a controlled dangerous substance. And since the origin of this offense is possession of drugs, a failure to make lawful disposition charge is normally accompanied by a possession or intent to distribute charge. While a N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c) complaint may not seem severe, being that it is a misdemeanor disorderly persons offense, when compounded with other drug charges this charge becomes burdensome, especially given its ability to trigger a drivers license suspension of at least six (6) months. The highly competent attorneys at our firm can assist you or a loved one in successfully defending a failure to make lawful disposition charge. One of our lawyers may even be able to achieve the best result possible — a dismissal of the case. If you have been charged with failure to make lawful disposition in Edison, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, Piscataway, Plainsboro, Sayreville, Woodbridge, or in some other Middlesex County Municipal Court, give us a call at 732-246-7126.
New Jersey Failure to Make Lawful Disposition Law
As previously stated, this violation arises out of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c). This law states that:
c. Any person who knowingly obtains or possesses a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog in violation of subsection a. of this section and who fails to voluntarily deliver the substance to the nearest law enforcement officer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude a prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this title or any other statute.
Elements of the Offense. The State is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following three (3) elements: (1) the defendant knowingly; (2) obtained or possessed a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) or controlled substance analog in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a); AND (3) failed to voluntarily deliver the substance to the nearest law enforcement officer. One way to avoid prosecution under this statute is clearly to voluntarily turn over drugs to the police. And it is important to clarify that an individual permitting an officer to search his or her vehicle or person and/or admitting possession of CDS does not constitute voluntary disposition. But an extremely important consideration under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c) is that an individual who make lawful disposition enjoys use and derivative-use immunity from prosecution.
Penalties for Failure to Make Lawful Disposition
As previously mentioned, failure make lawful disposition is a disorderly persons charge. Accordingly, the penalties that a defendant may be subject to include up to six (6) months in the county jail and a $1,000.00 fine. A conviction under this charge is not subject to expungment for at least (5) years from the date probation and all fines are paid so you will have a record for a minimum of five (5) years if you are convicted under this section. In addition, you are exposed to a mandatory drivers license suspension of at least six (6) months upon conviction.
Contact one of our Middlesex County Offices for an immediate consultation: Woodbridge Office at 732-634-0700; East Brunswick, Office at 732-227-1200; Piscataway Office at 732-562-0308; or New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126.