Possession CDS Motor Vehicle
It is your worst nightmare: you find yourself pulled over, sitting in your car on the side of the road, and the officer finds drugs or drug paraphernalia in your vehicle. Your mind is racing: what are your rights? What will happen next? How do you protect yourself? All too often, a routine motor vehicle stop results in multiple charges for drivers in New Jersey. Unbeknownst to many, having marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or a prescription drug without a valid prescription can result in several charges, including possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. These charges are distinct: the first of which is criminal in nature, while the other is considered a motor vehicle offense. Although possession of CDS in a motor vehicle is technically a traffic violation, these offenses entail a MANDATORY 2-year suspension of your driving privileges, notwithstanding the penalties that may be imposed if you are convicted of a criminal drug crime. When you find yourself in this type of predicament, it is essential to have a skilled and aggressive defense attorney on your side.
Tara Breslow is a highly regarded criminal defense attorney who has successfully represented thousands of clients charged with drug-related crimes in Monmouth County over the last ten years. Ms. Breslow has built her practice with the mission of going above and beyond for each and every client. With an approach that combines zealous advocacy at trial and skillful negotiation behind the scenes, Ms. Breslow positions her clients to achieve the best possible outcomes. One client described her this way:
“She makes the impossible become possible. If it was not for her.. I do not know where i would be.”
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow in Monmouth County for a cost-free consultation. Ms. Breslow will take the time to learn about your situation, answer your questions, and outline all of your available options.Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle: N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1
Section N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1 governs possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, outlawing the operation of a motor vehicle on any highway in New Jersey while knowingly having in your possession or your vehicle any controlled dangerous substance included in New Jersey’s Drug Schedules or any prescription drug without a valid prescription. In the case of this law, a “highway” refers to any street, avenue, drive, or other road publicly maintained and open to the public. It is important to note that this statute applies only to drivers, not passengers, in motor vehicles. As such, passengers may be charged with criminal possession of CDS, but your attorney should argue for a dismissal of charges for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle if you were not the driver of the car.
In addition, it is incumbent upon the State to prove that the driver was aware that the CDS was in the motor vehicle at the time of the offense. For instance, if one of your passengers was in possession of marijuana and you were unaware of this fact, your attorney should argue for a dismissal of the charges against you. There are additional ways to achieve a dismissal in cases of this kind involving probable cause for the motor vehicle stop, consent to search, and many others. Thoroughly investigating the circumstances of your case may provide a knowledgeable lawyer with one or more of these arguments.
If you have been charged with both possession of CDS and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle and no grounds for a dismissal exist, your attorney may be able to negotiate for a dismissal of the motor vehicle charge and enrollment in Conditional Discharge to address the criminal charge. Conditional discharge is a diversionary program that, if completed, leads to the dismissal of the charges and no conviction on your criminal record. If you are convicted of possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, this will result in a mandatory loss of your driver’s license for a period of 2 years, as well as associated fines.Contact a Belmar NJ CDS in a Vehicle Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you or someone you love has been charged with possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow for a free initial consultation. Ms. Breslow regularly represents clients in Red Bank, Belmar, Manasquan, and throughout Monmouth County and she is prepared to build your best defense.