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Spotswood NJ Cocaine Possession Attorney
The Former Director of the Middlesex County Drug Task Force Is Ready To Defend Your Charge For Possessing Cocaine in Spotswood New Jersey
Although parts of New Jersey are experiencing a heroin epidemic, cocaine is still one of the most popular illegal narcotics in the State, including in Middlesex County municipalities like Spotwood NJ. Not surprisingly, the Spotswood Police, as well as the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, focus a great deal of their attention on identifying those in possession of cocaine and, even more so, individuals who distribute cocaine. If you have been arrested for possessing cocaine in Spotswood, you need the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience handling cocaine cases. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has eight highly skilled attorneys with a record of getting cocaine possession charges dismissed and/or at least downgraded. One of the lawyers even serviced as the Director of the Drug Task Force of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. To speak to an attorney about your Spotswood cocaine possession offense, contact our New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126. A lawyer is available immediately to assist you any time of day or night.
Cocaine Possession Charge in Spotswood New Jersey
The New Jersey Law that applies to a Spotswood cocaine charge is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. The statute reads as follows:
It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.
Since cocaine is a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”), it cannot be possessed without violating 2C:35-10. Possessing cocaine contrary to this law results in a third degree crime and the penalties set forth in subsection (a)(1).
Elements of the Offense. The prosecutor must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict someone of cocaine possession:
• The substance is cocaine.
• The accused had cocaine in his possession.
• The accused knowingly or purposely possessed the cocaine.
Actual vs. Constructive Possession: There are two types of possession recognized in the law, actual and constructive.
• Actual possession of cocaine occurs when a person knows that the substance is cocaine, and knowingly has it on his person.
• Constructive possession means the possessor does not physically have the cocaine on his person, but is aware that the item is present and can exercise control over it either directly or through another person.
Penalties for Cocaine Possession. It is a third degree crime under 2C:35-10(a)(1). The penalties that may be imposed at the time of sentencing for third degree possession of cocaine in Spotswood include 3 to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $35,000 fine. It is important to note, however, that possession of more than what would be expected for person use or under other circumstances implying that it was being sold (e.g. broken up into packages, small denominations of cash on your person, etc.) can lead to a charge of possession with the intent to distribute, which carries more serious penalties.
With cocaine possession, certain sentencing enhancements may apply. If the defendant was also within 1,000 feet of school property, or within 500 feet of public housing or a public park, at the time of the crime, the sentence may be more severe. Be sure to consult with an attorney about the consequences of those additional factors.
Defenses to Cocaine Possession. A brief look at the local crime reports reveals that many drug arrests arise from motor vehicle stops. As such, 4th Amendment search and seizure issues involving a car stop may provide a defense to the charges. Some defenses your attorney may consider include:
• Whether the initial car stop was even valid.
• Whether the police have evidence that you were in possession of the cocaine.
• Whether the police failed to tell you that you can refuse consent once they asked to search your vehicle.
• Whether the police actually had the proper legal cause to search your vehicle if they did not ask for consent.
Spotswood Cocaine Possession Lawyers
The so-called “war on drugs” is not over in New Jersey. If you find yourself faced with a cocaine possession charge, consider obtaining the skilled representation of the lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. The first consultation with our attorneys is free so do not hesitate to contact us for immediate assistance. A lawyer is available 24/7 at 732-246-7126. Call us today to speak to an attorney immediately.
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