Of any illegal drug to be found in possession of, cocaine may be the one of the worst. According to New Jersey’s criminal code statute 2C:35-10, it is a felony to be in possession of any amount of cocaine. This means you can get in some serious trouble if found to be in possession. Though, “being in possession” can have a broad meaning, and it is important to understand how and what will get you into trouble with the law. Make sure you understand New Jersey’s cocaine possession laws and have the best representation when it comes to defending your rights.
Types of Possession Charges
When it comes to possession charges, there are a few ways that you can be found guilty. First and foremost, there is Direct Possession. This refers to the cocaine being found directly on your person, whether it’s physically in your pocket or backpack, in your car or your house/apartment. Then there is Constructive Possession, where the cocaine was found in a location where several people are present and it is unclear who’s in possession of the drug. In this case, any individual in the area, with knowledge of the cocaine and intention to control the substance, will be charged with possession. Lastly, there is Joint Possession, where two or more individuals share ownership or control of the drug, such as two people buying it together. In any case, an individual involved can be found guilty of possession and face felony charges.
Intent to Distribute and Consequences
In a lot of cases, not only will a person be tried for just a possession charge, but with intent to distribute as well. Intent to distribute charges can lead to even more major legal ramifications, and they can vary based on the amount of cocaine in possession, and where you were at the time of possession and possible distribution. If you were found to have less than 0.5 oz, it is a crime in the third degree, and you could face up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $75,000. Anything up to 5 oz is a crime in the second degree, leading to a possibility of 10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines. Anything above 5 oz is a crime in the first degree, landing you 10-20 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
Things can get even more consequential based on where you were when being caught with possession. Being near any public park, school zone or public housing project will ensure that the penalties increase substantially, oftentimes even neglecting the amount of cocaine you may have had.
You Need The Best Representation
Cocaine possession and intent to distribute charges can be a crazy and wild mess to try and navigate. We at Catanzaro Law understand the confusions and hardships you may be facing, and are here to help you through the process. Without professional help, you may be facing the worst of it. However, with the help of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys, you can make the most of a bad situation. If you or someone you know is facing cocaine charges, contact us today for a free consultation, and make sure you get the representation you need and the justice you deserve!