Union County NJ Heroin Lawyer
Attorney for Heroin Charges in Cranford, New Jersey
Heroin has become increasingly popular and more prevalent throughout New Jersey and the Tri-State Area. Most in the legal community agree that the increase is directly attributable to highly addictive prescription opiates such as Oxycotin and Vicodin which have become easily accessible and act as a gateway drug for most. In order to meet this new wave head-on, the State has taken a tough stance against these charges on the state level as well federal level. If you are convicted of heroin possession you will be subject to incarceration in state prison because it is a felony offense. At Proetta & Oliver, our practice is dedicated to exclusively defending individuals for criminal and municipal court charges and we have represented clients charged with heroin possession and distribution throughout New Jersey. If you have been charged with possession of heroin in Union Township, Cranford, Elizabeth, Clark, Plainfield, Linden, or Rahway it is important that you retain an experienced criminal lawyer. If you would like to speak with a heroin defense attorney free of charge please contact our office at (908) 838-0150.
2C:35-10 New Jersey Heroin Possession Statute
The statute which punishes the possession of heroin, along with other “hard” drugs is listed below, in pertinent part, for your convenience.
a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226. Any person who violates this section with respect to:
(1) A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 35,000.00 may be imposed;
Understanding Heroin Charges in NJ
In New Jersey, heroin is considered a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance, which means it is recognized as highly addictive, with a high potential for abuse, and it currently has no acceptable use in treatment even under medical supervision. As illustrated in the above statute, possession of heroin is a third degree indictable crime under New Jersey law. This means you will be charged with a third degree felony regardless of the amount of heroin found in your possession. If convicted, you will face between 3 and 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000. Other potential punishments for heroin charges include court-order supervision and drug testing, community service, probation, and suspension of your driver license.
In some cases, a charge for heroin possession will be upgraded to heroin distribution based on the amount found in your possession at the time. If you had a significant quantity of heroin, a large sum of cash, drug packaging materials such as a scale or small bags, if the heroin was separated into multiple doses, or if cutting agents are present, the state may use this as evidence that you intended to distribute the drug. It is important to note, there are additional penalties if you were arrested for:
- Intent to Distribute Heroin
- Distribution of Heroin within 500 ft of Public Park or Housing
- Distribution of Heroin within a School Zone
- CDS in a Motor Vehicle
- Maintaining a CDS Facility
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession of Oxycontin
Fortunately, there are many potential defenses for heroin charges in New Jersey. Our experienced heroin defense lawyers will thoroughly examine the circumstances of your case to pinpoint any weaknesses or violations of your constitutional rights. For example, if your heroin charge arose during a motor vehicle stop, the police must have probable cause for the stop, as well as the search that followed. If you were charged with constructive possession while in the company of several other people, there may be an argument to raise that the heroin wasn’t yours. If the heroin was obtained during an illegal search and seizure, it may be inadmissible in court and thus cannot be used against you. If police did not Mirandize you following your arrest, a violation of your Miranda rights may be used to obtain a dismissal. If law enforcement did not follow the appropriate rules regarding chain of custody or there is an issue with the lab report, our attorneys can also use these defenses to beat your heroin charges.
Possession of Heroin in Westfield NJ Attorney
The truth is that heroin charges can be very complicated and treacherous to handle if you do not know what to do. Often, there are issues that must be litigated by an experienced criminal lawyer such as “constructive possession” or suppression concerns such as inadequate probable cause or an illegal search and seizure . As founding attorney, William Proetta has handled literally over one thousand criminal and municipal court cases, many of which involved heroin charges. We know how to work with the County Prosecutor’s Office in securing admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention to avoid a record, obtaining a waiver into Drug Court to avoid state prison or even work out a downgrade and remand. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation with a heroin criminal lawyer at (908) 838-0150.