Mercer County NJ Cocaine Possession Attorney
It is well known that cocaine was one of the most popular drugs during the late seventies and early eighties. However, until recently, it really hasn’t been a major of concern for law enforcement. But towns throughout New Jersey, including some towns in Mercer County have reported that cocaine possession arrests have been on rise in recent years. Anyone accused of possessing cocaine will be facing rather significant penalties, including five years in a State Prison, a $35,000 fine and a felony drug criminal record. We strongly recommend that anyone accused of possessing cocaine, possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute, possessing heroin or possessing prescription drugs in Mercer County, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Almost every cocaine possession arrest will revolve around some form of a search. An experienced Mercer County drug possession defense attorney can make a significant difference by exploiting any potential search issues by filing a suppression motion. If successful on the motion, the underlying charges may be dismissed.
Speak to a Cocaine Possession Defense Lawyer in Hamilton Today
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Hamilton, West Windsor, East Windsor, Lawrence, Hopewell, Trenton and Robbinsville. Our team has the experience required to fight to protect your rights. Mr. Oliver has been defending those accused of various criminal offenses his entire career. He has represented clients accused of being the leader of a drug trafficking network, operating a drug manufacturing facility, distributing heroin, distributing cocaine and possessing marijuana under 50 grams. If you would like to come into our Hamilton office for a face to face consultation with one of our Mercer County drug defense attorneys in our office, then please contact us at (609)789-0779. Now here is some more information on cocaine possession charges, including what the penalties are.
What You Need Know about Cocaine Offenses in New Jersey
All cocaine possession cases will be classified as third degree indictable (felony) offenses in New Jersey. That means that all cocaine possession cases must be transferred from the local municipal court to the Mercer County Superior Court, which is located in the City of Trenton for litigation. For example, if a student at Princeton University is arrested on campus and charged with the possession of cocaine, their case must be transferred from the Princeton Municipal Court to the Mercer County Superior Court, Criminal Division. This also means that the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office will be in charge of prosecuting the charge as opposed to the local Princeton Municipal Prosecutor.
What if the Individual Never Actually Possessed the Cocaine in NJ, Can they Still be Charged?
All Cocaine Possession offenses will be governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a. It states in pertinent part that “it is unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely, to obtain or to possess, actually or constructively, cocaine”. At first glance, it seems rather straightforward but it can become very problematic when the cocaine is not actually seized from a person directly. When the State attempts to prove possession charges based on the constructive possession theory, the case can become problematic. Constructive possession has been defined as situation in which the “possessor does not physically have the item on his or her person but is aware that the item is present and is able to and has the intention to exercise control over it.” This is where an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney can cause problems for the prosecution. If you would like to discuss your options with one of the attorneys on staff at Keith Oliver Criminal Law then please contact us at (609)789-0779.
All Cocaine Possession Cases will be Classified as a Felony Offense in NJ
A Defendant charged with possessing cocaine in New Jersey will be facing a third degree felony. It is important to note here that even trace amounts of cocaine will still be considered a third degree felony. If convicted, a Defendant will be facing up to five (5) years in a State Prison, a fine up to $35,000, a felony criminal record and a six month mandatory loss of a driver’s license. As you can tell these are serious charges and one’s that should not be taken lightly.
Can I Get Pretrial Intervention for a Cocaine Offense in Mercer County?
New Jersey has created several diversionary programs which a Defendant may be able to take advantage of. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program, Conditional Discharge Program and Drug Court. Each of these programs will afford a Defendant a different advantage. In some cases, it could include the ability to walk away without a criminal record and without ever serving a day in jail. For more information on these programs, including what determines a Defendant’s eligibility, please contact our office at (609)789-0779.
What is the Bail For a Cocaine Possession Charge in New Jersey?
New Jersey uses what is known as a risk assessment scale when it seeks to determine if a Defendant should be entitled to bail. If an individual caught possessing cocaine in Mercer County is charged by way of a Complaint-Warrant that means that they must be taken to the Mercer County Jail so that Pretrial Services can conduct their risk assessment. Once that risk assessment is conducted the individual will be scheduled for their Central Judicial Processing Hearing (CJP). At that hearing the Mercer County Prosecutor’s will have to advise the individual whether they will be agreeing to release them on bail. If after reviewing the risk assessment they decide not to release the individual they must file a formal motion for detention. Once that motion is filed, a formal hearing will be conducted about five (5) days later. At that hearing the Judge will be called upon to make a determination of whether or not the individual should be entitled to bail, and if he determines they should, they will be required to set conditions of release. The days of simply going to the local precinct and posting a cash bail to secure the release of a loved one is long gone. For more information on detention hearings in Mercer County, please click the link.
Consult with a Cocaine Defense Attorney in Princeton Township Today – 609-789-0779
Keith Oliver Criminal Law has been defending clients accused possessing cocaine, possessing heroin, possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute or distributing heroin for almost a decade now. We represent clients accused of breaking the law in the Mercer County Superior Courthouse, the Princeton Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court, the Hamilton Municipal Court and the Robbinsville Municipal Court. If you would like to discuss your options with one of the attorneys on staff at Keith Oliver Criminal Law, then please contact us at (609)789-0779. We can be reached around the clock to helps assist in anyway possible. Our initial consultations are free of costs, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.