Monmouth County Heroin Possession Lawyer
Based on the recent statistics, it appears that heroin still has a stranglehold over New Jersey residents. Although the heroin epidemic ripped through New Jersey as a whole over five years ago, the number of arrests let alone overdoses, still continues to rise. Although heroin abuse is more prevalent in other counties, Monmouth County as whole still sees its fair share of heroin cases. In addition to heroin cases, they also deal with a lot burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, aggravated assault, shoplifting and even robbery cases as well. These offense typically go hand and hand because most clients addicted to heroin need to fund their habits. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with heroin possession in Monmouth County you will be facing a third degree felony. As you will see below, a conviction for a third degree felony offense in New Jersey could land a Defendant behind bars for up to five (5) years.
Need Local Lawyer for Heroin Possession Charge in Freehold
The attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law have been representing clients charged with the possession of heroin, the possession of cocaine, the distribution of marijuana and the possession of heroin with the intent to distribute in Monmouth County for years now. If you have been arrested and charged with possession of heroin in Monmouth County, in towns like Middletown, Hazlet, Holmdel, Freehold, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Howell, Eatontown, Tinton Falls, Aberdeen, Matawan and Ocean Township we can help. Our criminal defense attorneys are prepared to aggressively challenge the evidence against our clients in order to achieve a desirable outcome. If you would like to come into our office in Middletown to have a one-on-one consultation with Mr. Oliver or one of the other attorneys on staff, then please contact us at (732)858-6959. Please remember that our initial consultations are always free. Now here is some key information on the offense of possessing heroin, including some potential alternatives to incarceration.
Long Branch NJ Heroin Possession Lawyer
Heroin Possession: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)1
The governing statute in New Jersey for heroin possession is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)1. The statute states in pertinent part that:
- It is unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely, to obtain or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled dangerous substance analog.
Therefore, in order to be convicted of possessing heroin in New Jersey, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt three material elements:
- Heroin is a controlled dangerous substance;
- What the Defendant possessed or obtained was in fact heroin; &
- That the Defendant acted knowingly or purposely in possessing or obtaining the heroin.
Does it matter if I Didn’t have any Heroin on me?
Pursuant to the statute, the State can attempt to prove possession by establishing that the Defendant either actually possessed the heroin, constructively possessed the heroin or jointly possessed the heroin. For the difference between the two please see below.
Actual Possession has been defined as: A person is in actual possession of an item when he/she first, knows what it is: that is, he/she has knowledge of its character, and second, knowingly has it on his/her person at a given time.
Constructive Possession has been defined as: Constructive possession means possession 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.
Is Heroin a Felony in NJ?
As touched upon above, heroin possession charges are typically third degree felony offenses in New Jersey. A Defendant will be charged with a third degree felony provided the heroin in question was less than ½ ounce. Meaning, the smallest, including trace amounts is enough to be charged with a third degree felony. There is no misdemeanor level version of heroin charges in New Jersey. Also, if a Defendant is caught possessing more than ½ ounce of heroin, the possession charge is the least of their worries, they will almost certainly be charged with a second degree possession with intent to distribute heroin charges. For more information on heroin distribution charges in Monmouth County, including possible defenses, please click the link.
What is the Sentence for Possessing Heroin in NJ? Can I Avoid Jail?
If convicted of a third degree heroin possession charge a Defendant is facing up to five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $35,000, a felony criminal record, potentially mandatory drug counseling and a potential of a six month loss of driving privileges. With that being said, depending on the facts of your case a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to get a Defendant into one of New Jersey diversionary programs. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program, Conditional Discharge and Drug Court. Each program affects the case differently but a couple of them could not only help keep a Defendant out of jail but also without a criminal record. For more information on each program please feel free to contact our office at (732)858-6959 or checkout our practice area by clicking the link.
Neptune NJ Heroin Lawyer
Almost all heroin charges will center around some form of a search or seizure. This is where an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney can make a difference. If a search issue exists and defense counsel is successful on a motion to suppress, there is a strongly likelihood that the otherwise life changing criminal charges will be dismissed outright. If you have been arrested and charged with the distribution of heroin, the possession of marijuana, the possession of Oxycontin, the distribution cocaine or the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Our office serves all of Monmouth County, including towns like Red Bank, Manalapan, Marlboro, Aberdeen, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Ocean Township, West Long Branch, Sea Bright and Englishtown. If you would like to come into our office to discuss your options and potential resolutions to your case with one of our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys then please contact us directly at (732)858-6959.