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Freehold, Drug Possession

Freehold, New Jersey Drug Possession Lawyer

Drug crimes are serious business in New Jersey, from the mountains to the shore, a few seeds of cannabis to a couple of spare Vicodin - to a trunkful of heroin. An arrest for even the smallest drug cases - say possession of one joint or other people’s prescription pills - can lead to a great deal of court time and court costs and possibly even jail time and a permanent stain on your record.

For first-time offenders, the New Jersey courts can be lenient and offer a variety of diversion programs, such at Pre Trial Intervention, to give citizens a second chance. But with repeat offenders, the New Jersey courts can be unforgiving and harsh.

If you are arrested for a drug offense and charged with any drug offense, Freehold County drug possession attorney Tara Breslow-Testa is the first person you should speak with. Ms. Breslow-Testa has served on both sides of the bench. She knows 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.

Cannabis is Still Mostly Illegal - Possession of Marijuana

While New Jersey’s new governor Phil Murray is pushing for expanding medicinal marijuana and legalizing recreational marijuana, the possession, consumption and distribution of marijuana is still illegal in New Jersey - and these cases are the most common drug offense charges in the state. If you are seen or smelled smoking marijuana public or private, if the police search your vehicle or home and they find even a small amount of residue, or smoking paraphernalia, or if you are arrested at a rock concert or other public event, you can be charged with possession of marijuana.

In New Jersey, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled dangerous substance, right up there with acid, hashish, heroin, LSD, MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms.

New Jersey statutes N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code address offenses for manufacturing, distributing, or possessing marijuana with intent to distribute in section. Marijuana offenses can be first, second, third or fourth degree, depending on the measured weight or number of plants associated with the offense.

Possession of marijuana in a quantity of less than one ounce is a Fourth Degree Crime, punishable by up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

At the other end of the scale, possession of marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more; or 50 or more marijuana plants; or hashish in a quantity of 5 pounds or more is a First Degree Crime: punishable by a sentence of between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $300,000.

Lights, Pipes, Papers = Paraphernalia

New Jersey statutes define drug paraphernalia as anything used to “plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance....”

Possession of anything used to produce, divide, package or consume illegal drugs is a disorderly persons offence. The potential penalties are loss of license for a minimum of six months and a maximum two years, with a maximum jail sentence of six months.

If you are charged with possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia Tara Breslow-Testa is a drug possession lawyer for Freehold, New Jersey who you want by your side. Even the simplest drug cases have technicalities related to search and seizure, chemical testing, lab results and proof of possession. Tara Breslow-Testa has defended dozens of marijuana possession cases, she knows the ins and outs and loopholes, and she will help you steer your way through the New Jersey courts - for the best result.

OPPP = Other People’s Prescriptions Pills

The opioid-abuse epidemic has reached all the way to Freehold County, and arrests are on the rise for unlawful possession of prescription drugs: Not just opioid-based painkillers like Fentanyl, Vicodin, Demerol and OxyContin, but also Central Nervous System Depressants like Valium, Xanax, Ambien, Zoloft and Nembutal, and stimulants like Dexedrine, Ritalin and Adderall.

Let’s say you keep a bottle of someone else’s Vicodin close by, because you suffer from kidney stones or other pain. If your name is not on the label of that pill bottle, you will be charged with illegal possession of a prescription drug.

Charges for these offenses depend on the quantity of pills you possess.

Possession of four or fewer dosage units without a valid prescription is a disorderly persons offense. First time offenders could be eligible for court-ordered diversion programs.

Possession of four or fewer dosage units with intent to distribute is a fourth degree crime, with a possible penalty of 18 months in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A first-time offender charged with a fourth-degree crime might quality for pretrial intervention - which could result in the charges being dropped and stricken if you complete all the requirements of the pretrial intervention.

Possession of anywhere from five to 100 dosage units is a third degree offense, with a prison sentence of 3 to 5 years, and a fine up to $200,000.

It’s a second degree offense to possess 100 pills or more, with intent to distribute. The penalty is 4 to 10 years in prison, and a fine up to $350,000.

Forgery of a prescription script and prescription drug fraud are also on the rise - both are third degree crimes, with the possibility of five years in state prison.

One Way Out = Pre-Trial Intervention

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. With many years experience diverting cases to pre-trial intervention, Tara Breslow-Testa is a drug possession attorney for Freehold County who you should trust with your case.

No Drug Charge too Small

If the police find some rolling papers, or a couple of seeds or a pill bottle with just a couple of Vicodin, you could be charged with drug possession, and are in for an unpleasant ride through the New Jersey courts - who are growing ever more impatient dealing with the tsunami of drug cases, small and large.

Freehold County drug possession lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa can save you a great deal of money and time - and a lifetime of explaining - by steering your case through the New Jersey courts.

Tara Breslow-Testa is the first person you should talk to. For a free consultation, contact Tara at (732) 784-2880.