Heroin Possession, New Jersey Penalties and Defenses

Heroin possession and distribution offenses in New Jersey are on the rise. This is because of the epidemic of opiate based prescription pill addictions that in my opinion was created  by the irresponsible over prescribing by doctors. When an individual becomes addicted to opiates, it is hard to stop. Heroin is often the cheaper alternative and many turn to it.

The result is an increased number of heroin possession arrests and defendants struggling to find a way to both defend against the serious penalties they face and deal with addiction.

I am a New Jersey criminal attorney who understands the suffering you may be going through and will give you every opportunity to get your life straightened out. How do I do this? By making sure that a I hold the state to each and every element of its proofs and work out a resolution of your case that puts you in the best possible position to succeed.

Your personal struggles my endure, but at least you can have the piece of mind that an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive attorney is on your side and will be there for you.

My job isn’t to judge. I want to get you a second chance and will do what I can to make that happen.

In New Jersey, heroin possession is punishable under the authority of N. J. S.A. 2C:35-10a(1). The penalties for a third degree crime are up to five years in prison, which is unlikely for a first offense heroin possession. But depending on your prior record, there could be jail time imposed. A fine of up to 35k can be imposed but also unlikely, usually around $1000 in fines and fees will result and a 6 month loss of driving privileges. Probation, drug testing, counseling, community service are all likely if convicted.

My job is to try to avoid all of those penalties for you a so you can get back to your life. Have no doubt about it, your guilt or innocence is none of my business. My business is holding the police and the state accountable, which means making them prove it. And even if they can, I will make sure that the outcome of your case is the best one I can possibly achieve.

If trial is necessary or the best option, then I will be there before the jury arguing hard for you.

Drugs, heroin, prescription pills, etc., are a social problem that the government feels is addressed best by the court system. I don’t believe this. Part of the reason I am a lawyer is because I want to hold the government accountable for over reaching.

One particular topic I would like to address is the concept of possession. There are many different defenses to drug possession offenses, but this one seems to pop up, along with suppression issues, as  much as any.

Possession can either be actual or constructive. This means that you  don’t actually have to have something on you to be charged with drug possession. It can be in the car or on another person who is with you. However police seem to treat this as an elastic concept and frequently will charge a group of people even if it seems unlikely the state will be able to prove possession as to the group.

Another important issue is your constitutional right to be free of illegal search and seizure. In many instances, the police will search you, your car, your home illegally, meaning without probable cause. This can not be tolerated and must be challenged if the facts and circumstance dictate.

If you have questions about heroin possession in New Jersey or any other offense, I am available for you.


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