Monmouth County Cocaine Distribution Charges

Table of Contents

Cocaine Distribution Lawyers in Freehold New Jersey

The demand for cocaine has definitely grown to the point that distribution is almost commonplace in Monmouth County. Law enforcement is well aware of just how popular cocaine has become and have made major busts on the Bayshore, Long Branch, Aberdeen and elsewhere over the last year to combat this issue. If you had the misfortune of being arrested for selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute cocaine, hiring an accomplished attorney is extremely important since a conviction carries severe penalties.

We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, a criminal defense firm that is the largest in the region. More importantly, we possess unique credentials to translate into success, including:

  • A team of ten (10) attorneys whose practice is dedicates exclusively to the defense of individuals accused of violating the law in New Jersey
  • Over 200 years of combined experience handling drug distribution and other criminal charges at the Superior Court in Freehold
  • Most of the lawyers at the firm are former prosecutors with at least fifteen (15) years of experience
  • Staff includes the former Director of Major Crimes, Special Operations, the entire Trial Team and the Juvenile Division
  • An extensive track record of favorable outcomes in first degree, second degree and third degree cocaine distribution cases in Monmouth County
  • Members who have earned the distinction of being a certified criminal trial attorney, an attribute enjoyed by less than 2% of those licensed in the state

We are available 24/7 to assistance individuals with questions, pretrial release or to discuss how we can help escape the penalties associated a criminal offense for selling cocaine. Contact our Freehold Office at 732-462-1197 for a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 45 Court Street, Suite 201, Freehold NJ 07728, defends clients charged with cocaine distribution in Monmouth County, including those arrested in Middletown, Long Branch, Keansburg, Aberdeen, Marlboro, Manalapan, Howell, Asbury Park, Belmar, Neptune, Wall, Ocean Township, Tinton Falls and other local municipalities.

Elements of Offense

A charge for selling/distributing/possession with intent involving cocaine arises out of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. This is commonly referred to as the NJ Drug Distribution Law and makes if a crime to knowingly manufacture, distribute,  or possess cocaine with intent to distribute.  The elements of proof that must be established under Model Criminal Jury Charges in order to convict someone of violation 2C:35-5 are set forth in the table below.

Pedigree of 2C:35-5 Offense Elements of Proof
Selling or Distributing Cocaine The substance seized by the police was cocaine;

The accused sold or distributed the cocaine; and

The conduct was knowing or purposeful.

Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine The substance seized by the police was cocaine;

The accused controlled the substance;

The defendant intended to distribute the cocaine; and

The conduct was knowing or purposeful.

Manufacturing Cocaine The substance seized by the police was cocaine;

The defendant manufactured the substance; and

The conduct was knowing or purposeful.


How Is Grading Determined?

Distribution charges are graded as a first degree, second degree or third degree crime depending on the quantity of cocaine.

  • If you distributed, sold or possessed less than one-half ounce of cocaine with intent to distribute, you face a third degree crime.
  • It is a second degree crime under 2C:35-5 where the weight of cocaine is at least one-half ounce but less than five (5) ounces.
  • Distribution or manufacturing five (5) ounces or more of cocaine results in a first degree crime.

Penalties for Distributing, Manufacturing or Possession With Intent To Distribute Cocaine

Degree of Offense

Fine Term of Imprisonment
First Degree $500,000

10-20 Years

Second Degree


5-10 Years

Third Degree $75,000

Up to 5 Years


Distribution Of Cocaine With 1,000 Feet of a School or Within 500 Free of a Public Park

There are two common enhancements that arise when someone is charged with cocaine distribution. The first one is distribution of cocaine in a school zone in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. The second scenario that frequently crops up is distributing in a public park or housing project zone. The headings below outline each of these complications.

  • Distribution in a School Zone. When cocaine is distributed, sold, manufactured or possessed with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property, a violation of 2C:35-7 arises. This offense is additional to one under 2C:35-5, carries a fine of up to $150,000 and results in a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment equal to one-half to one-third of the sentence imposed or three years, whichever is greater.
  • Distribution in a Public Park. A separate second degree crime results when distribution occurs with 500 feet of a public park in violation of 2C:35-7.1. This means that you will be exposed to an additional term of incarceration of 5-10 years and a fine that can reach $150,000.

Common Defenses in Cocaine Distribution Cases

There are certain defenses that have a tendency to apply in distribution of cocaine cases, including:

  • Improper Search or Seizure
  • Violation of Miranda Rights
  • A Confidential Informant Who Is Unreliable
  • Failure to Prove the Required Elements

Diversion Programs

Pretrial Intervention allows someone facing an offense for third degree distribution of cocaine to avoid prosecution. There primary requirements for admission into this program are never having secured a diversion previously (e.g. Pretrial Intervention, Conditional Dismissal or Conditional Discharge) and prior felony record.

Drug Court is another program that can be utilized by someone arrested for selling/distributing cocaine. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the requirements of Drug Court are extremely stringent and that the program is five (5) years. It is actually very rare for someone to fulfill the program without a sanction, which typically involves some period of county jail time.