Toms River Drug Arrest Lawyer
A Toms River drug conviction can have disastrous consequences. All drug charges in New Jersey carry the possibility of jail, fines and mandatory driver’s license suspension. For indictable drug charges, the law calls for prison time depending on the crime and the individual’s record. Defenses and diversionary programs exist for Toms River drug charges. If you are facing a drug charge in Toms River, call now to speak to a NJ drug charge lawyer.
The majority of drug arrests in Toms River are for marijuana possession. However, Toms River has seen a huge spike in heroin usage in the last 10 years. Lately, prescription painkillers such as oxycontin have resulted in a large proportion of Toms River drug arrests.
Toms River Drug Charges
Toms River is the judicial hub of Ocean County. Toms River itself is one of New Jersey’s largest municipalities. The Superior Court for Ocean County is located in Toms River. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office are also located in Toms River.
The overwhelming bulk of drug arrests in Toms River are for marijuana possession. Whether the charge is a felony (indictable) charge or a misdemeanor (disorderly persons offense) depends on the type of case it is. For example, Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana in New Jersey is a disorderly persons offense. The statute that controls this charge is NJSA 2C:35-10(a)4.
If you are arrested for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, your case will be heard in the Dover Township (Toms River) Municipal Court. However, if you are also charged with indictable offenses, your case will likely be heard in the Ocean County Superior Court.
The charge of possession of drug paraphernalia is governed by NJSA 2C:36-2. Marijuana is commonly smoked with hollowed out cigars, rolling papers, and various types of pipes. State Police laboratories sometimes fail to test these items for the presence of drugs when they are sent to the lab along with suspected CDS (controlled dangerous substance). Attorney’s must be very careful to check the laboratory report carefully in all drug cases. Seems obvious, but is sometimes overlooked.
Both possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana are disorderly persons offenses. All disorderly persons convictions in New Jersey carry up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, possession of marijuana less than 50 grams carries a mandatory $500 DEDR penalty. Both these charges also carry a minimum 6 month driver’s license suspension.
The license suspension can only be avoided if the judge is convinced that to suspend your license would constitute an undue hardship to you. The license suspension applies whether or not the offense took place in a motor vehicle. If you are caught with drugs in a motor vehicle, you will also be probably issued a traffic ticket for violating NJSA 39:4-49.1, CDS in a motor vehicle. This ticket carries a mandatory 2 year driver’s license suspension.
Possession of 50 grams of marijuana or more is a crime of the 4th degree. A fourth degree crime in New Jersey is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. If your jail sentence is more than 364 days, you cannot serve it in the Ocean County jail but must be sent to a New Jersey State Prison.
Possession of prescription pills, cocaine or heroin in Toms River are crimes of the third degree. Crimes of the 3rd degree in New Jersey are punishable by up to 5 years in prison. For all drug convictions in New Jersey, there is a minimum 6 month driver’s license suspension. This applies for both adult and juvenile drug charges.
Toms River Criminal Court
In addition to the drug arrests that are made in Toms River, the Superior Court for Ocean County is located in downtown Toms River. Therefore, all indictable drug charges that are filed by police in Ocean County are heard in Toms River. As mentioned, disorderly persons offenses are heard in the local Municipal Court in which they were charged. If your son or daughter has been charged with a Toms River juvenile criminal offense, like a juvenile drug charge, their case will be heard in the Ocean County Family Court.
If you are facing a Toms River drug charge, I can help. Call to speak with a New Jersey drug charge lawyer.