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Heroin Possession Distribution

Defense Attorney for Heroin Possession and Distribution in Freehold, New Jersey

Heroin, an extraordinarily addictive opioid, has prompted a new and worrisome epidemic in the United States and sparked a national discussion about addiction as a public health concern. Heroin can be injected (often referred to as “main lining”), inhaled, snorted, or smoked. Regardless of the means of administration, heroin is delivered to the brain extremely rapidly, creating a sense of euphoria in the user that underlies the drug’s addictive tendencies. New research indicates that prescription opioids, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, may pave the way to heroin abuse, as they have a similar effect on the brain but are much more expensive and more difficult to obtain. Due to the dangerous nature of heroin, it is classified as a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance on New Jersey’s Drug Schedule, meaning that it is recognized as having a high potential for abuse; and no current accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision. As a result, New Jersey prohibits the possession, manufacture, or distribution of any amount of heroin, subjecting those convicted of heroin offenses to severe consequences, including thousands of dollars in fines, felony charges on their criminal records, and even time in prison.

Criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow has skillfully defended thousands of clients charged with drug crimes in Freehold, Holmdel, Middletown, Toms River, and throughout Monmouth County, New Jersey. With ten years of knowledge and experience, she thoroughly investigates every case to identify procedural violations, inadmissible evidence, and other potential grounds for a dismissal. She aggressively advocates for her clients in court, and when a dismissal is not a viable option, she uses deft negotiation to help her clients achieve the best possible outcome. For instance, Ms. Breslow has had great success facilitating her clients’ enrollment in diversionary programs such as Drug Court and Pre-Trial Intervention. These programs allow first-time drug offenders to participate in a probationary period or drug rehabilitation as an alternative avenue to avoid incarceration and any charges on their criminal records. For additional information about how Tara can help you navigate the legal process for the best result, contact her Monmouth County offices today for a cost-free consultation.

Possession of Heroin in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10

New Jersey law codifies possession of heroin in section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. Under this section, possession of any amount of heroin is strictly prohibited and constitutes a third degree indictable felony. Possession of heroin, which involves only a quantity believed to be solely for personal use, is a third degree crime, punishable by a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison, a maximum fine of $35,000, and a 6-month period of driver’s license suspension. Notably, third degree crimes entail a presumption of non-incarceration, meaning that first-time drug offenders may be eligible for probation or enrollment in 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.

Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing Heroin in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

New Jersey outlines offenses involving the manufacture, distribution, or possession of heroin with intent to distribute in section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. Under this statute, the degree of a heroin distribution charge is determined primarily by the amount (specifically, the measured weight) of heroin associated with the alleged offense. The various levels of heroin distribution charges are delineated as follows:

  • 5 or More Ounces of Heroin – First Degree Crime: punishable by a sentence to serve between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
  • Heroin in a Quantity of Between 1/2 Ounce and 5 Ounces – Second Degree Crime: punishable by a sentence to serve between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
  • Less than 1/2 ounce of Heroin – Third Degree Crime: punishable by a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $75,000.

First and second degree charges for heroin distribution entail a presumption of incarceration, meaning that even first-time drug offenders are subject to mandatory prison time. On the other hand, third degree crimes are associated with a presumption of non-incarceration, meaning that first-time drug offenders may be considered good candidates for probation, Drug Court, or Pre-Trial Intervention. In certain cases, it is possible to achieve a downgrading of a more serious charge to a lesser offense that improves your chances for enrollment in a diversionary program. In other cases, Drug Court can be a viable option for drug offenders who are charged with non-violent offenses and who do not have prior convictions for violent crimes.

Contact a Middletown NJ Heroin Charges Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been charged with possession or distribution of heroin, cocaine, or another drug, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow 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.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.