Possession & Distribution of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a highly-addictive stimulant that is classified as a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Lawmakers are keenly aware of the dangerous nature of the drug, as well as the dramatic rise in its use over the last decade, and have made possession of methamphetamine a third degree crime. The severity of a methamphetamine charge can escalate to a second degree or even first degree crime if it involves selling, distributing or possessing the drug with the intent to distribute. Our law firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, clients on methamphetamine offenses throughout Monmouth County, including those arrested in Atlantic Highlands, Union Beach, Rumson, Asbury Park, Brielle and Manalapan. If you are facing a third, second or first degree methamphetamine case at the Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold, our former prosecutors and skilled defense lawyers are ready to fight for you. We have over 100 years of combined experience between us and can offer the knowledge that comes with practicing at this courthouse for decades. Call our Freehold Criminal Office at 732-462-1197 for a free consultation with a defend attorney at our firm.
Possession of Methamphetamine
It is unlawful to purposely or knowingly possess Methamphetamine. While it is not necessary for the state to prove that the Defendant knew specifically which controlled dangerous substance they possessed, it must be proven that the Defendant knew they possessed a controlled dangerous substance in order to obtain a conviction. While a defendant may contend that they were unaware that the substance they possessed was methamphetamine, this contention often fails as a defense. The prosecution is able to create a presumption of knowledge of the character of the substance based upon the individual facts of the case. For instance, a white substance that is found with a glass pipe and a blowtorch indicates the possessor’s awareness of the nature of the substance. Knowledge of the nature of the substance can also be inferred from the Defendant’s history, such as being a known abuser of the substance, or having a past conviction for possession of the substance.
Possession of Methamphetamine is a crime of the 3rd degree. If convicted of possession of methamphetamine, you face $35,000 in fines, as well as 5 years in prison. If the possession occurred in a school-zone (within 1,000 feet of school-leased or owned property), the sentence will be enhanced to include at least 100 hours of community service (only applies if the sentence fails to include jail time). As with all drug charges, the 6-24 month driver’s license suspension also applies up conviction.
Manufacturing or Distributing Methamphetamine
Selling, manufacturing or possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine can come in the form of a first degree, second degree or third degree crime depending on the quantity of the drug involved under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. Separate offenses and/or enhanced penalties also apply where this form of CDS is distributed or sold in a school zone, public park or housing project. The following is a breakdown of the grading an penalties that apply:
- First Degree Crime. If you manufacture or distribute five (5) ounces or more of methamphetamine, it is a first degree crime punishable by up to 20 years in jail/prison and a fine as high as $300,000. The court must impose a minimum term of imprisonment during which the defendant is ineligible for parole (i.e. one-third to one-half of sentence).
- Second Degree Crime. Selling or manufacturing at least one-half ounce but less than five (5) ounces of methamphetamine is a second degree crime. Second degree distribution of methamphetamine results in a potential fine of $150,000 and a state prison sentence ranging from 5 to 10 years.
- Third Degree Crime. Possession with intent to distribute less than one-half of methamphetamine is a third degree crime that carries a fine of $75,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
In addition to the penalties provided under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 as set forth above, an individual faces additional consequences of he/she manufactures or distributes methamphetamine in a school zone or public park zone. The enhancements are contained under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (“Distributing, dispensing or possessing controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog on or within 1,000 feet of school property or bus; penalty; defenses; approved or revised map; prima facie evidence; official record”) and 2C:35-7.1 (“Distributing, dispensing or possession controlled substances; proximity to public housing facilities, parks or buildings”). For the details of how they apply, please refer to our articles on school zone charges and public park offenses.
Sale or Purchase of Ingredients for Manufacturing Methamphetamine
New Jersey has criminalized the sale or purchase of ingredients commonly used to produce and manufacture methamphetamine. The related criminal violation is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:35-25. Under this law, it is illegal to sell or purchase three packages or 9 grams or more of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, or any of their salts, optical isomers or salts of optical isomers, in a single retail transaction.
Freehold NJ Methamphetamine Attorneys
Irrespective of the nature of the methamphetamine charge you are presently facing, our criminal defense attorneys have the skills you need. As lawyers who have been representing clients in complex CDS/drug cases for decades at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold, we know what it takes to succeed on behalf of someone arrested for methamphetamine. Our Freehold NJ Methamphetamine Attorneys are knowledge in the law and familiar with the Judges and Prosecutors. We know what is effective and what is not in defending your arrest in Tinton Falls, Wall, Howell, Holmdel, Lake Como, or Keyport. So call us to discuss your methamphetamine case now at 732-462-1197 to learn what your best options are for defending the charge.