The number of heroin overdose deaths that occur in New Jersey is shocking. As a New Jersey news outlet recently reported, the state’s rate of heroin deaths has essentially tripled since 2010, and it is roughly three times the national rate. To address this epidemic, police and prosecutors have stepped up efforts to crack down on the sale and use of heroin.
If you have been charged with a heroin-related crime in New Jersey, you need to take it seriously. The penalties and other consequences could be severe. It will be important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side that will have a thorough understanding of your situation.
Attorney Anthony J. Vecchio has been involved with heroin cases as both a prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney. He has also been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in every year since 2012. You can trust him to give your case the serious thought, attention, skill and effort it deserves. He will aggressively seek the best outcome for you.
Don’t wait to get legal help. Call or reach us online today to discuss your case.
If you have been charged with a heroin-related crime, you should understand how New Jersey treats this drug. Knowing this information will help you to understand the consequences that may possibly lie ahead for you in the state’s criminal justice system.
As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes, heroin is a highly addictive drug. It is made from morphine, a natural substance found in certain types of poppy plants. Heroin can be snorted, smoked or injected. Often, heroin is mixed with other drugs such as the painkiller, fentanyl.
In New Jersey, heroin is a “controlled dangerous substance,” or CDS, which is classified as a Schedule I drug. This means that it is deemed to have a “high potential for abuse” and no accepted medical use. (See N.J.S.A. 24:21-5.)
Due to the dangerous nature of heroin, New Jersey imposes harsh punishment on those who commit crimes involving the drug. Other factors include the weight (or quantity) of the heroin involved in your case and the act you are accused of committing.
The following are types of heroin penalties in New Jersey:
You can be charged with possession if you have actual possession of any amount of heroin or if you are aware of its presence and have the intention to exercise control over it. Heroin possession is a crime of the third degree. You can face up to five years in prison and $35,000 in fines. (See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.)
If you “knowingly and purposefully” possess heroin with intent to sell or distribute it, or if you are accused of manufacturing the drug, you can face a more severe distribution or manufacturing charge.
If the police find you with packaging equipment such as plastic bags, ties and scales, it could lead to such charges. Adulterants or dilutants are included in the determination of the total amount. Also, the prosecution can aggregate the amounts from multiple distributions.
The consequences you face could include:
You can be charged with being the leader of a narcotics trafficking network if you are accused of conspiring with two or more people to make, distribute or transport heroin, or if you are accused of financing such activities. If convicted, you could face a sentence of 25 years to life and a fine of up to $750,000. (See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3.)
If you are accused of selling or distributing heroin within 1,000 feet of a school or school property, you could face up to three years in prison and $150,000 in fines. (See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.)
If you have been charged with a heroin-related charge, it is important to begin pursuing your defense strategy right away. Attorney Anthony J. Vecchio can get to work on your case immediately and take steps that include:
Additionally, if you are eligible, we can seek the expungement of any records related to your heroin charges by filing a petition in Superior Court on your behalf at the proper time.
If you have been charged with a heroin offense in New Jersey, Anthony J. Vecchio will personally handle your case and have your best interests at heart. He will take the time to get to know you and your circumstances. He will fight tirelessly to protect your rights.
We handle cases throughout New Jersey, including Freehold, Jersey City, Red Bank, Princeton, Woodbridge and Mt. Laurel. Contact us today to talk about your case.
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