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- Gabriel V.

Heroin Possession and Distribution

The Needle and the Damage Done

Monmouth County Attorney Representing New Jersey Citizens Charged With Possession, Manufacturing or Trafficking of Heroin

Deaths by heroin overdose are increasing at an alarming rate in New Jersey: From 351 in 2009 to more than double that number in 2014 = 781. Every year, close to 30,000 New Jersey citizens are admitted into substance abuse treatment programs with heroin or other opiates as the monkey on their back.

Whether it’s injected, snorted or smoked, heroin is categorized as a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) under New Jersey law, which means it has a high potential for abuse and no current accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

Going back to the 1980s, New Jersey has waged the war on drugs with strict, harsh penalties for the possession, manufacture, or distribution of any amount of heroin: Six figure fines and as long as life in prison for the most serious offenders.

Monmouth County heroin crime lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa understands the severity of the heroin problem in New Jersey, and is the person you want in your corner when facing aggressive prosecutors and no-nonsense judges. Tara knows there are detours and tributaries that offenders can take before being sent up the river - Drug Court and Pre-Trial Intervention . With experience on both sides of the bench, she is experienced and dedicated at handling cases involving opioids - from possession to manufacture and distribution.

If you are being investigated or are arrested for a charge involving heroin, Tara Breslow-Testa is the first person you talk to - because what is coming is serious, and complicated. Going to court on charges in any way related to heroin is serious business, and you will feel better having experienced, sharp drug offense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa by your side.

Call Tara at: (732) 784-2880

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.

Possession of Heroin: Charges and Penalties

New Jersey is all too aware of the death and destruction caused by the heroin epidemic, and the courts do not not mess around when it comes to heroin: possession, manufacture or sale.

Possession of less than half an ounce of heroin is a crime in the third degree, punishable by a fine of as much as $35,000 and up to five years in prison. And a mandatory six-month license suspension.

Third degree crimes come with a presumption of non-incarceration, meaning that first-time drug offenders could qualify for a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention. Upon successful completion of PTI during a probationary period, the charges against you are dismissed and your criminal record remains clean.

Possession of five or more ounces of heroin is a first-degree crime punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $500,000.

Weight Matters: Possession of Heroin With Intent to Distribute or Sell

Statutes N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code detail weights and measures and penalties for the manufacture, distribution, or possession of heroin with intent to distribute. The degree of the crime is related to the measured weight of the heroin.

It is a third degree crime to possess with intent to sell less than half an ounce of heroin. The penalty is a fine of up to $75,000 and a prison term of three to five years in New Jersey State Prison.

It is a second degree crime to possess with intent to sell between half an ounce and five ounces of heroin. The penalty is 5 - 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

It is a first degree crime for possessing with intent to sell five or more ounces of heroin, including adulterants or dilutants. The penalty is 10-20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

Sale of Heroin in a School Zone

For selling heroin within 1000 feet of a school, there is an additional penalty of one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, or three years, whichever is greater, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. And a fine of up to $150,000.

Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network

If the courts determine you are a leader of a narcotics trafficking network, “who conspires with two or more other persons in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, bring into or transport in this State... any controlled dangerous substance classified in Schedule I or II” the sentence is 25 years to life in prison, and a fine up to $500,000.

Constructive Possession of Heroin

New Jersey dislikes anything or anyone having to do with heroin so much, you can be convicted of possession of heroin just by being near heroin, or associated with people who possess the drug - if it can be proven you had intent to exercise physical control over the drug.

Don’t Do It!

Heroin is serious business in New Jersey, and the difference between four ounces and five ounces of heroin can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and many years in jail.

If you are being investigated for a crime involving heroin, or have been arrested, Monmouth County heroin crime attorney Tara Breslow-Testa is the first person you should talk to. With many years of experience defending those accused of drug crimes, Ms. Breslow-Testa can mean the difference between being diverted to Drug Court, and many years in New Jersey State Prison.

If you or someone you love has been charged with possession or distribution of heroin, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow-Testa for a free initial consultation. Ms. Breslow regularly represents clients in Asbury Park, Eatontown, Ocean Township, and throughout Monmouth County and she is thoroughly prepared to begin building your best defense.