Mercer County Heroin Possession Lawyer
Law enforcement throughout Mercer County has been out in full force trying to combat the heroin epidemic that started sweeping through New Jersey. Heroin abuse has been on the rise for the last five (5) year in Mercer County. Defendants charged with possessing heroin in New Jersey can be facing up to five years in a state prison and a fine up to $35,000. Furthermore, based on the new bail reforms which came into effect January 1, 2017, a Defendant could find themselves held without bail pending trial. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with the possession of heroin, cocaine distribution, the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute or possession of prescription drugs in Mercer County it is imperative that you speak to an experienced drug possession defense attorneys about your options. Like most drug offenses, heroin possession charges stem from some form of a search and seizure. This is where an experienced Mercer County drug possession defense attorney can make a difference. They can seek to attack the underlying search at a suppression hearing and if successful the charges may be dismissed.
Need Local Attorney for Heroin Possession Charge in Trenton
The Mercer County criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law have been representing clients charged with various drug offenses including marijuana possession, cocaine possession, heroin possession and heroin distribution. Mr. Oliver, one of the firms founding partners, has extensive experience representing clients charged with heroin possession offenses in courts throughout New Jersey. In fact, both Mr. Oliver’s and Mr. Proetta’s entire careers have been dedicated to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout New Jersey, including Mercer County. Our office represents clients in courts all throughout the Mercer County including the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Lawrence Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the Hopewell Municipal Court, the East Windsor Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court, and Mercer County Superior Court. If you would like to come into our office for a free initial consultation today then please contact us at (609)789-0779. We are available around the clock to help assist in any way possible. Now here is some key information heroin possession charges including the potential penalties.
What to Know About Heroin Possession Cases in Mercer County
The governing statute in New Jersey for the unlawful possession of heroin is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. Although our society recognizes that a drug addiction is a disease and one that has been ravaging our State for a decade now, it does not mean these types of cases are not prosecuted. In fact, heroin possession offenses are one of the more frequently prosecuted cases in Mercer County. All heroin possession cases, regardless of the quantity, will be prosecuted in the Mercer County Superior Courthouse, which is located at 400 South Warren Street in Trenton. This is cases even if there is only trace amounts discovered.
What Must the Prosecution Prove for a Heroin Case in NJ
In order to be convicted of heroin possession, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the:
- Substance in question was in fact heroin;
- That the Defendant possessed or obtained the heroin; and
- That the Defendant acted knowingly or purposely in possessing or obtaining the heroin.
Understand How the State Can Prove “Possession” in Drug Cases in NJ
The State can seek to prove possession by establishing that the Defendant either actually or constructively possessed the heroin in question. They also can even seek to prove possession under the joint possession theory as well. Actual possession is rather straight forward however, when it comes to joint and constructive possession, an experienced Mercer County criminal defense lawyer can attack the state’s proofs. If you would like to come into our office to have a face to face consultation with Mr. Oliver then please contact us directly at (609)789-0779.
Heroin Possession Cases will ALWAYS be Considered a Felony Offense in NJ
Heroin possession offenses are considered third degree indictable offenses, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony. If convicted of a third degree felony, a Defendant could be facing up to five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $35,000, a felony criminal record, a license loss up to 6 months, community service, probation and mandatory rehab. With that being said, there are several diversionary programs in New Jersey that a Defendant may be able to take advantage of. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program, the Conditional Discharge Program and Drug Court. If a Defendant is accepted and they successfully complete the Pretrial Intervention Program or the Conditional Discharge Program they could walk away from these otherwise life changing charges without a record let alone serving a day in jail.
It is important to discuss here that the aforementioned penalties are only applicable for possession of heroin charges not the distribution of heroin. For more information on heroin distribution charges and possible defense please refer to our heroin distribution practice series by clicking the link.
How to Post Bail in Mercer County on a Heroin Charge?
Pursuant to New Jersey’s Bail Reform Act, which was instituted in 2017, the days of being able to secure the release of a love one by posting a cash bail at the local police department are gone. If the individual falls under our Bail Reform Act they must be taken from the local police department to the Mercer County Jail so that Pretrial Services can conduct their risk assessment. That risk assessment will in turn be used by the Prosecution to determine whether they will agree to release the individual on bail pending trial. If the prosecution declines to release an individual on bail they must file for a detention hearing. At the detention hearing the prosecution will seek to convince the Judge that the individual must be detained in the County Jail without bail, pending trial. After hearing arguments from both sides, the Judge will need to make the final decision on whether to grant the individual bail. For more information on what occurs at detention hearings on heroin cases in Mercer County, please click the link.
Speak to a Local Hamilton NJ Heroin Possession Lawyer Today
Heroin possession charges have been on the rise for years. If you have been arrested and charged with possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, possessing cocaine, distributing marijuana or possessing heroin the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our office serves all of Mercer County including towns like Robbinsville, Hamilton, Trenton, Ewing, West Windsor, Pennington and Hopewell. We have extensive experience representing clients charged with various drug offenses. If you would like a free initial consultation today, then please contact us at (609)789-0779. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.