Trenton Heroin Possession Attorney

The City of Trenton is no stranger to the heroin epidemic that has been sweeping through New Jersey over the last five years. In fact, it has become well known throughout the drug community as one of the hotspots for anyone trying to score heroin. Unfortunately, the Trenton Police Department is well aware of that to. Over the years they have really ramped up their patrol. In an effort to try and combat the epidemic that has been sweeping throughout the state, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has taken a tough stance when it comes to prosecuting these types of offenses. If you have been arrested and charged with possession of heroin in Trenton it is crucial that you speak to an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney about your options. This is a serious offense, one that if not handled properly could land an individual behind bars for up to five years. At the Keith Oliver Criminal Law we fully understand what is at stake when a Defendant is charged with possessing heroin. If you would like to come into our office for a consultation today then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We can sit down and discuss the specific facts of your case and formulate a game plan that works best to fit your needs. Our attorneys are well equipped to defend these types of charges anyway that you see fit, whether that be a trial, suppression hearing or negotiating a favorable plea deal. These are serious charges and ones that should not be taken lightly. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Trenton NJ Heroin Lawyers

The governing statute in New Jersey for the unlawful possession of heroin is NJSA 2C:35-10a. Pursuant to the statute, anyone charged with the unlawful possession of heroin in Trenton will be facing a third degree felony offense. That is regardless of whether you are caught with a trace amount or a bundle of heroin. It is important to note here that if the Defendant is caught possessing more then a bundle, they will most likely also be charged with the possession of heroin with the intent to distribute as well. If that is the case, then that will be the controlling charge.

Can I get Bail on a Heroin Charge in NJ?

As of 2017, the New Jersey bail system has forever changed. We have now moved towards a risk assessment bail system as opposed to the purely monetary bail system that we have had forever. The new risk assessment system was created to mirror the Federal Bail System. In essence now, if a Defendant is charged on what is known as a “warrant” complaint then they must be interviewed by pretrial services to determine if the Defendant should be released pending trial and if so under what conditions. If after the review, the prosecutors office is seeking to detain a Defendant, a Detention Hearing must take place. At that hearing it will be the prosecutions burden to establish by clear and convincing evidence that there are no other less intrusive means to either protect the public or assure the Defendants appearance in court but to detain the Defendant without bail. These hearing can and always should be contested. To speak with one of our attorneys immediately about your options please contact us at 609-789-0779 or email us.

Where Do I go to Court?

Since heroin charges are felony offenses in New Jersey, they must be litigated in the county courthouse in the county where the offense occurs. So, in this case, if the Defendant is caught possessing heroin in Trenton, then the charges will be litigated in the Mercer County Superior Court, which is located at 400 South Warren Street in Trenton. However, it is possible for an attorney to convince the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office to remand the heroin possession charges back to the Trenton Municipal Court. If that is to occur, the felony drug charges will be downgraded to a disorderly persons offense. Some of the most common downgraded heroin charges include: Failure to Turn Over a Controlled Dangerous Substance; Loitering For the Purposes to Obtain a Controlled Dangerous Substance; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

How to Downgrade Heroin Charges in New Jersey?

As touched upon above, it is possible to have a felony heroin possession charge downgraded back to the local municipal court. If that is to occur, a Defendant would be going from facing up to five years in a state prison to facing a max of six months in the Mercer County Jail. Some of the common angles the criminal defense lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law try use in order to obtain a downgrade include:

  • An unlawful search;
  • An unlawful seizure;
  • The heroin possessed was a small amount;
  • Issues with the lab reports;
  • Issues with the chain of custody for the lab reports;
  • Defendants lack of a prior record;
  • Proof issues;
  • Can they Prove Possession.

Penalties for Possessing Heroin in NJ?

Possession of Heroin, in violation of NJSA 2C:35-10a(1):

  • Three to Five Years in a State Prison;
    • Presumption against incarceration for first time offenders.
  • A Fine up to $35,000;
  • Fees & Assessments totaling around $1,500;
  • Up to Five Years of Probation;
  • Community Service;
  • Up to a Six Month Loss of License;
  • Felony Criminal Record;
  • Court Ordered Rehab.

Downgraded Heroin Charges: Failure to Turn Over CDS; Drug Paraphernalia

  • Up to Six Months in the Mercer County Jail;
  • A Fine up to $1,000;
  • Fees & Assessments totaling around $800;
  • Up to Two Years of Probation;
  • Community Service;
  • Up to a Six Month Loss of License;
  • Criminal Record;
  • Court Ordered Rehab.

Can I get PTI on a Heroin Charge in Trenton NJ?

Depending on a Defendant’s prior criminal record, they may be eligible for one New Jersey diversionary programs. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program, the Conditional Discharge Program and Drug Court. The Pretrial Intervention Program and the Conditional Discharge Program are diversionary programs whereby if the Defendant’s are accepted and they complete the probationary period without violating any of the terms, the pending charges will be dismissed outright. Conversely, Drug Court is a program that if eligible, would help keep a Defendant out of jail but in order to do so they will need to complete an extensive 5 year probationary drug program. For more information on these programs please click the links or contact our office at 609-789-0779.

Heroin Lawyer in Trenton NJ

As you can see, heroin charges in New Jersey carry with them rather harsh penalties. However, there are angles that an experienced Trenton heroin possession defense lawyer an exploit in order to make the potential penalties much more manageable. The criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law are well aware that no two clients let alone no two cases are the same. As such, we pride ourselves on being able to work very close with our clients in order to formulate a game plan that works best for them. Mr. Oliver, one of the firms founding partners, heads up our Mercer County practice. He will personally handle your matter from beginning to end. For more information on Mr. Oliver, including reviews, please click here.