Drug Distribution Attorney Linden NJ
Serving North Plainfield, Elizabeth, Plainfield, Linden, and the greater Union County area
In the movies, news, and media, drug distribution is depicted as moving copious amounts of drugs from one person to another. While drug distribution can occur on a large scale, the reality for most people charged with the offense is that they may have sold or given small amounts of drugs to a person on one occasion. Being charged with drug distribution can have lasting consequences, so it’s important to understand the charge.
What is Drug Distribution?
Under N.J.S.A 2C: 35-5, a person can be found guilty of drug distribution if they “knowingly or purposely” “distribute or dispense” a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). It is also an offense to distribute or dispense an imitation or fake controlled dangerous substance. A controlled dangerous substance is any drug listed on what is known as the drug “Schedules”. The legislature previously decided what substances should not be dispensed by the public and they memorialize that list on the five Schedules of Drugs.
Substances that are banned from distribution by the average person include illicit and prescribed substances. Illicit substances are drugs that you cannot get from a doctor and are entirely illegal, such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana (in New Jersey) synthetic marijuana, and molly (aka ecstasy, MDMA). The law also makes it illegal to sell, distribute or dispense prescription drugs. For example, if you had a prescription for Xanax, and you give or sell it to your friend for $10, you can be charged with distribution. Other commonly prescribed medications that cannot be dispensed (unless by a doctor or practitioner) are oxycodone, Roxicodone, Benzos, Percocet, Ativan, and other similar substances.
Defining a Drug Distribution Charge in New Jersey
Often, very simple facts lead up to a charge for distribution. Many people are charged with distribution just for giving or selling a substance one time, and it may only involve one pill. Often, people get arrested and want to do anything they can to get out of trouble. They plead and beg the police and eventually, the officer may offer them a “deal”: A person agrees to purchase a quantity of drugs from someone and the police agree to drop the charges. A plausible scenario is as follows: your friend asks you for an “oxy” because he ran out and you agree to meet him and give him a pill. You meet him, give him the pill, and he hands you $10 for your trouble. What you did not realize is that he was likely escorted there by the police who watched you hand him the pill. The police then met with the “friend” afterward to collect the pill. They take the pill as evidence, take a statement from your friend, and before you know it you are charged with a complaint about distribution.
Drug Distribution Penalties Union County NJ
A charge for distribution can be a first, second, third, or fourth-degree crime. Most distributions are third-degree crimes/indictable felonies. All crimes in New Jersey carry possible state prison terms. For a third-degree crime, you can go to prison for 3-5 years. In the case of a fourth degree, it decreases to 12-18 months. Even sharing a small amount of marijuana can subject you to a state prison term of 18 months. A conviction on a person’s record can negatively impact their life, making employment harder to find if a potential employer runs a background check. Additionally, if you do not own your own home, potential landlords can reject your application for a lease based on prior convictions. Similarly, if you plan on obtaining student loans for college or continued education, you may be barred from obtaining these funds.
Contact a Cranford Drug Distribution Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with drug distribution in NJ is a serious matter. But there is hope. Consulting a reliable and experienced Criminal Defense Attorney, who has an in-depth knowledge about state laws, will greatly increase your chances in court and reduce possible punishment. We have experience in reviewing and fighting drug distribution cases. Often, police makes mistakes, there may be issues with the credibility of witnesses, or evidence is lost or destroyed and searches can be deemed invalid. We will review your case and advise on any legal issues and possible resolutions.
If you or someone you love needs legal advice or representation, contact Edward S. Cooper Law Office, serving clients in Elizabeth, Cranford, North Plainfield, Linden, and across Union County, New Jersey. You can fill in our online form, or dial 908-481-4625 to get in touch with one of our representatives.