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Cocaine Possession

Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer County Cocaine Possession Attorney

Abuse of cocaine and crack are epidemic in New Jersey - a fiery comet of tons of illegal powder tailing theft, crime, gang activity, assault, murder, broken homes, broken lives, broken neighborhoods and broken courts from one end of the Garden State to the other.

The New Jersey judicial system is swamped with cocaine and other drug crimes cases, and they can be lenient with first time offenders - but also harsh to repeat offenders.

Cocaine is classified in New Jersey as a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance, which means there is high abuse potential which can cause physical or psychic dependence. From Eric Clapton to Grandmaster Flash songs have been written and movies filmed testifying to cocaine’s infamous potential for high abuse - whether snorted, injected or mixed with baking soda and smoked as “crack.”

Cocaine is second only to marijuana in overall popularity in the United States and New Jersey. America is by far the world’s largest consumer of cocaine, and New Jersey is no different.

Cocaine possession is actually legal in Peru (up to two grams), Mexico (up to .5 grams) and Colombia (up to one gram) and cocaine is gradually being decriminalized in places like Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and Brazil.

But that is not the situation in New Jersey. While medical marijuana is legal - with refined restrictions - and recreational marijuana is teetering on the cliff of legality, cocaine is still highly illegal in the Garden State.

Possession of cocaine is a third degree offense in New Jersey, and the statutes have some leniency: First time offenders can have the option of being diverted to Drug Court, Pre-Trial Intervention or other treatment programs.

If you are being investigated for possession of cocaine - or if you have been arrested - Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer County cocaine possession attorney Tara Breslow-Testa is the first person you should talk to. Born, bred and educated (Rutgers) in New Jersey, Ms. Breslow-Testa has served on both sides of the bench prosecutors want, what judges will allow. Ms. Breslow-Testa has successfully diverted cocaine possession and knows the complex equation of drug courts: What aggressive prosecutors want and what hardened judges will accept.

Tara Breslow-Testa is adept at diverting cases to Drug Court and Pre-Trial Intervention - saving clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, years in prison and life-long consequences.

For a free consultation, contact Tara Breslow-Testa at (732) 784-2880

Possession of Cocaine In New Jersey: Third Degree Offense

Unlike Mexico, Peru, the Netherlands and Brazil, possession of cocaine in any amount for personal use is not legal in New Jersey. New Jersey statutes N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, prohibit the possession of cocaine in any amount for personal use and classifies these offenses as third degree felonies.

Conviction for third degree possession of cocaine is punishable by a term of 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison, a $35,000 maximum fine and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

Presumption of Non-Incarceration

Third degree crimes come with “a presumption of non-incarceration,” which means first-time offenders are possible candidates for Drug Court, Pre-Trial Intervention, or probation. With an experienced, dedicated attorney by your side, it is possible to achieve a downgrading of a more serious charge to a lesser offense that could lead to a diversionary program.

If an offender is not eligible for Drug Court or Pre-Trial Intervention and the accused is convicted and sentenced, judges have discretion when it comes to sentencing, and their discretion is swayed by the facts of the case: Amount of cocaine, reputation and prior record of the accused, and any arguments the attorney presents in support of their client.

Drug Court

Established in 1996 in Camden and Essex Superior Courts - and since extended to all of New Jersey - the mission of New Jersey’s Drug Court is to head off the abuse of drugs and alcohol and ease the related criminal activity that goes with drug abuse. Drug Courts operate within the Superior Court structure and utilize a specialized team of treatment professionals, court staff, probation officers, attorneys and substance abuse evaluators for cases that are nonviolent.

The goal of Drug Court is to keep abusers out of jail and off drugs, and it is possible that Monmouth County drug offense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa can work with Superior Court to have a case deflected into Drug Court - and turn possible jail time and fines into strict supervision.

Pre-Trial Intervention

Chantal Esteves was involved in a multi-million-dollar drug trafficking ring that could have lead to her being sentenced to life in prison and paying millions in fines. But instead she was diverted to pre-trial intervention and served no jail time.

According to the New Jersey Courts website, Pre-Trial Intervention “provides defendants, generally first-time offenders, with opportunities for alternatives to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution. PTI seeks to render early rehabilitative services, when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior. The PTI program is based on a rehabilitative model that recognizes that there may be an apparent causal connection between the offense charged and the rehabilitative needs of a defendant. Further, the rehabilitative model emphasizes that social, cultural, and economic conditions often result in a defendant's decision to commit crime.

Pre trial intervention is a kind of criminal rehab which realizes citizens might have extenuating circumstances for committing a crime, and allows their cases to be diverted to a strictly-monitored program designed to prevent them from committing crimes in the future.

Pre trial intervention is closely monitored, and upon successful completion, the crimes are expunged from a person’s record. Even a crime as serious as running a multi-million-dollar cocaine ring, in which an attorney was convicted of plotting a murder for hire.

Better Call Tara

Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer County cocaine possession attorney Tara Breslow-Testa is a veteran of many drug cases over the years, and you want her standing with you in court, going head to head with aggressive prosecutors and appealing to the good nature of hardened judges.

Cocaine possession is in New Jersey can result in years in jail, tens of thousands of dollars in fines and a life-long criminal record. If you have been arrested on cocaine charges, call Tara Breslow-Testa for a free consultation at (732) 784-2880.

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"I called Tara on a Sunday morning and to my surprise, she returned my call that same day. My son was facing serious criminal charges in Monmouth County that could have affected him for the rest of his life. However, Tara dug in and worked the case that resulted in a better than expected disposition. I HIGHLY recommend her to anyone facing any serious criminal charges." Jose
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