Monmouth County Cocaine Possession Lawyer
Cocaine is still one of the most common recreational drugs used in Monmouth County. It has even regained its popularity among the young professionals over the years. What people do not realize is that the crime of possessing cocaine in New Jersey is a third degree felony offense. Not only is a Defendant subject to incarceration if convicted but they will also be scarred with a felony criminal record and slapped with a fine up to $35,000. This type of conviction could have rather significant collateral consequences as well. A felony criminal drug possession record could hinder someone’s ability obtain or maintain employment and it could also cost some their professional licenses. To speak to one of our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys today about your options please give us a call at (732) 858-6959. These are very serious charges and should not be taken lightly.
Need Lawyer for Cocaine Charge in Middletown NJ
If you have been charged with the possession of cocaine, the possession of heroin, the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, the possession of Molly or the distribution of cocaine, the attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our attorneys represent clients charged with drug offenses throughout Monmouth County, in towns like Hazlet, Matawan, Colts Neck, Holmdel, Middletown, Marlboro, Freehold, Farmingdale, Howell, Asbury Park, Belmar, West Long Branch and Ocean. Both Mr. Oliver and Mr. Proetta have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of crimes, including drug offenses in courts throughout New Jersey. It is important to touch upon here that almost all drug offenses, whether it be drug possession or drug distribution stem from some form of a search and/or seizure. This is where an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer can make a difference. An experienced drug possession lawyer can attack the underlying search or seizure. If they are successful, the charges could end up being dismissed outright. If you would like to come into our office and discuss your options then please contact us at (732)858-6959. Our initial consultations are always free of costs and we are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway possible. Here is some key information on the offense of cocaine possession, including the applicable penalties if convicted.
What to Know about Cocaine Possession Charges in NJ?
It is certainly rare to see a defendant be charged with the possession of cocaine only. The vast majority of cocaine possession cases we see being issued in Monmouth County derive from one of two scenarios. The first scenario is when the police are actively investigating the individual for a separate crime like driving under the influence, eluding or assault by auto. The other scenario occurs under what is known as a search incident to arrest for the commission of another crime like aggravated assault, disorderly conduct or resisting arrest. When this occurs it obviously makes a bad situation much worse.
What Must the Prosecution Prove to Secure a Cocaine Possession Conviction?
The governing statute in New Jersey for the unlawful possession of cocaine is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a. Before a Defendant can be convicted of possessing cocaine in Monmouth County, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant either knowingly or purposely, obtained or possessed the controlled dangerous substance (the cocaine).
What if the Cocaine Wasn’t Actually Found on Me?
The State can prove “possession” one of three ways, by either showing that the Defendant actually possessed the cocaine, constructively possessed the cocaine or jointly possessed the cocaine. Establishing that a person actually possessed a controlled dangerous substance is rather self explanatory. In essence, the State needs to show that a Defendant was aware of what the “item” was and that they knew they had the “item” on their persons. Conversely, establishing constructive possession is a little bit more complicated. To establish constructive possession, the State needs to prove that the Defendant is aware that the “item” was present and he/she was able to and had the intention to exercise control over it. In addition, it is possible for two or more persons to be charged with possession of cocaine even if there is only one “baggie”.
What is the Sentence for Possessing Cocaine in NJ? Is there Jail Time?
Possession of cocaine will always be considered a felony offense in New Jersey. There is no misdemeanor version. Even if the Defendant has what is commonly referred to as “trace amounts” of cocaine, they will still be charged with a felony offense. If the Defendant is caught possessing less than ½ ounce of cocaine they will be charged with a third degree felony offense. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $35,000, a potential six month loss of driving privileges and a felony criminal record. In addition, a Judge could impose a probationary term, community service and even court mandated rehab.
How Can I Avoid Jail Time on a Cocaine Case in Freehold?
New Jersey has created several diversionary programs that could assist in keeping a Defendant out of prison. They are the Pretrial Intervention Program, the Conditional Discharge Program and Drug Court. Each one of these program varies in the benefit that they provide but some will not only keep you out of jail but could also keep you without a criminal record as well. For more information on these programs please click the corresponding links or contact our office at 732-858-6959.
Can the Police Charge Me with Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute?
Depending the facts surrounding what at first glance appeared to be a routine cocaine possession arrest could easily lead to possession with the intent to distribute or the manufacturing charges being filed. Some of the key things that law enforcement will look for when trying to make this determination is the quantity of the cocaine possessed, whether there were any packaging materials discovered and how was it actually packaged. If this is to occur, it goes without saying that the penalties as well as the sense of urgency to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law will increase. For more information on how to defend cocaine distribution charges in Monmouth County please click the link.
Looking to Speak to a Lawyer about Cocaine Case in Asbury Park NJ
The attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law have been representing clients charged with possessing cocaine, distributing heroin, possessing Oxycontin with the intent to distribute and possessing marijuana under 50 grams in courts throughout Monmouth County for years now. Our office serves all of Monmouth County including towns like Long Branch, Wall Township, Lake Como, Manasquan, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Aberdeen, Keyport, Union Beach and Rumson. If you would like to come into our office and discuss your options one on one with Mr. Oliver then we can be reached at (732) 858-6959. We fully understand that being charged with a criminal offense, let alone a felony is rather nerve wracking as such we are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible.
For more information on cocaine, please see below.