Somerset County NJ Drug Distribution in Park Zone Lawyer
It should be no surprise to hear that New Jersey as whole takes drug distribution offenses very seriously, especially when the offense occurs within what is known as a “park zone”. The legislature even chose to increase the potential penalties for a drug distribution offense that occurs within 500 feet of a public park or housing complex. This is regardless of whether the charges allege that the Defendant possessed the drugs with the intent to distribute, distributed the drugs or manufactured the drugs. When you combine that with the fact that New Jersey has in essence been fighting a war on drugs for the better part of the last decade, you can understand why these charges tend to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
If you have been charged with distributing heroin, distributing cocaine within 1000 feet of a school zone, possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute, the possession of methamphetamine or any other drug offenses for that matter in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. We have been defending those facing various drug distribution offenses in courts throughout New Jersey for years now. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys about your options, then please contact our Bridgewater office directly at 908-533-1064 or you can leave us email. One of our attorneys would be glad to go over the specifics of your case and formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs. For more information distribution drugs within in a public housing complex or park please see below.
Charged with Distributing Heroin in a Park Zone in NJ?
Anyone charged with distributing drugs will be facing either a first, second, third or fourth degree felony offense. The type of drug in question and the quantity will dictate what degree of a felony a Defendant is charged with. However, pursuant to NJSA 2C:35-7.1, if the distribution occurs within 500 feet of a public housing complex or a public park, a Defendant will also be charged with an additional offense known as “Distributing, Dispensing or Possessing with the intent to Distribute within 500 Feet of Certain Public Property”. Unlike a traditional drug distribution offense, unless the drug in question is marijuana and the quantity was less than 1/2 ounce, a Defendant will be charged with a second degree felony. Which drastically increases a Defendant’s chances of receiving a lengthy jail sentence if convicted.
What is Considered a Public Housing Facility?
Pursuant to NJSA 2C:35-7.1, a Public Housing Facility has been defined as any dwelling, complex of dwellings, accommodation, building, structure or facility and real property of any nature appurtenant thereto and used in connection therewith, which is owned by or leased to a local housing authority in accordance with the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, for the purpose of providing living accommodations to persons of low income.
What is Considered a Public Park?
Pursuant to NJSA 2C:35-7.1, a Public park is defined as any park, recreation facility or area or playground owned or controlled by a State, county or local government unit.
What is Considered a Public Building?
Pursuant to NJSA 2C:35-7.1, a Public Building means any publicly owned or leased library or museum.
When it comes to defending these types of charges it is important to remember that it is irrelevant whether or not the Defendant was aware that he was within 500 feet of a public property when they distributed the drugs.
What am I Facing for Distributing Drugs within a Public Park in NJ?
As stated earlier, unless the drug in question was less than 1/2 ounce of marijuana, a Defendant will be facing a second degree felony. A second degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in a State Prison and a fine up to $150,000. Also, anyone convicted of a second degree felony will face a presumption for incarceration. If the drug in question was marijuana and it was less than 1/2 ounce the Defendant will be facing a third degree felony. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in a State Prison and a fine up to $35,000. When it comes to a third degree felony, if the Defendant does not have a prior criminal history, there will be a presumption against incarceration. However, that presumption only applies to State Prison and not county jail. Furthermore, if the facts are egregious enough, that presumption can be overcome as well.
Marijuana Distribution in Park Zone Charges in New Jersey
Whether you have been charged with distributing heroin within 500 feet of a public park, distributing marijuana within a school zone, possessing cocaine or any other drug offense for that matter in Somerset or Hunterdon County, Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our attorneys serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including towns like Somerville, Flemington, Bernards, Watchung, Clinton, Readington, Raritan, North Plainfield, Franklin, Hillsborough, Bound Brook and Manville. If you would like to set up a one on one consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys then please contact us directly at 908.533.1064. As always, our initial consultations are always free of costs, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.