Charged With Possession of Cocaine or Distributing Cocaine in Freehold New Jersey
Possession of any amount of cocaine in Monmouth County results in a felony criminal charge that may only he heard at the Superior Court in Freehold New Jersey. An arrest for a cocaine offense can result in a third-degree crime for personal possession of this form of CDS or, even worse, a charge for distributing the drug (a.k.a. possession with intent to distribute cocaine).
Fighting a cocaine charge can get tricky whenever you are found with a large amount of the substance, a gun was involved, or when you have a lengthy prior criminal record. These cases require the most amount of work and investigation and should be handled by an attorney who has an extensive amount of experience defending cocaine charges.
It is imperative to retain a skilled lawyer whether your case involves straight possession or allegations that you distributed cocaine. It is also extremely helpful if your attorneys have extensive experience defending Freehold cocaine charges. This is precisely what the lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can offer you.
Contact our Freehold Office at (732) 462-1197 for an immediate free consultation to discuss your Freehold cocaine offense. An attorney will provide the benefit of their insight in defending the possession or distribution case without charge.
Cocaine Possession Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10
When you are charged with possession of cocaine in Freehold under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, the police allege that you were found to be in either “actual” or “constructive” possession of the drug. Actual possession means that you physically had the drugs on your person––in your hand, pocket, backpack, purse, etc. Constructive possession, on the other hand, means that the police found the drugs in a location that you knew about and where you exercised dominion and control (e.g. in the trunk or glove compartment of your car, a closet in your home, or in a storage unit you rent).
Distribution of Cocaine (Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing Cocaine) Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
When someone is accused of manufacturing, selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute cocaine, they face conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. This law prohibits the distribution of any quantity of cocaine. The severity of a cocaine distribution offense in Freehold hinges on the amount CDS sold and the location of the conduct. Distribution or possession with intent to distribute can result in a first-degree crime (i.e. 5 ounces or more), second-degree crime (i.e. at least one-half ounce but less than 5 ounces) or a third-degree crime (i.e. less than one-half ounce).
What Penalties Apply In A Freehold Cocaine Case?
As previously explained, a cocaine offense is always a felony falling within the jurisdiction of the Monmouth County Superior Court which is located in Freehold NJ. If an individual is convicted of personal/straight possession under 2C:35-10, it is a third-degree crime that carries a fine of up to $35,000 and 3-5 years in prison. A third-degree cocaine distribution charge under 2C:35-5 also carries 3-5 years in prison but the maximum fine is $75,000. A second-degree crime for distributing or possession with intent to distribute cocaine results in 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. A first-degree crime for distribution of cocaine can result in a Freehold judge sentencing the accused to 10-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. The severity of the penalties for a cocaine charge escalates if the CDS offense occurs in a school zone (i.e. within 1,000 feet of school property) or within 500 feet of a public park or housing project.
How We Can Help You Defend a Cocaine Charge In Freehold NJ
In simple possession cases, most people are eligible for a type of probation that will allow the case to be dismissed without a conviction. This is called Pretrial Intervention (PTI) which is a deferred dismissal of the case. The benefit of PTI is that no conviction happens. You avoid a conviction and a felony criminal record for a cocaine offense.
Distribution and possession with the intent to distribute cases are, of course, more serious. If the case flows from a search of your car or home, for example, we need to look at whether the police exceeded the scope of the search, whether the search itself was lawful, as well as, whether or not the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs found were possessed by you and whether you actually intended to sell them.
If the charge involves a mandatory prison sentence, one goal is to work with the prosecution to get the charges reduced. If that happens, it opens up the opportunity for less serious penalties. Knowledge of the Monmouth County court system, as well as, familiarity with the personnel, the judges, and the prosecutors can be the deciding factor in achieving a successful outcome.
Contact an Experienced Freehold NJ Cocaine Lawyer
As former prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys located in Freehold with more than 200 years of combined experience representing clients at the Superior Court, we have the knowledge, reputation, and the skill to successfully defend any type of drug case that comes through the Monmouth County justice system, including a cocaine charge at the Freehold Superior Court. If you would like to discuss the particulars of your Freehold, New Jersey cocaine charge with a highly knowledgeable defense attorney, please feel free to call our Freehold Office at (732) 462-1197. Lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are available 24/7 to speak to you or you can complete our online form. One of our attorneys is more than happy to discuss the facts of your cocaine case provide you with the sound guidance you need.
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