Across the country we’re finding an increasing problem with drugs. New Jersey is no exception to this widespread trend. The age of drug users is decreasing, with 40% of high school students in the United States having tried marijuana one or more times. New Jersey is slightly lower than the national average at 37%, but this is still high. The death count from heroin and prescription drugs more than doubled in the past year in New Jersey. In New Jersey 1,188 people died from overdoses in 2013, with 112 relating to heroin and prescription drugs.
In New Jersey the most popular drugs include marijuana, heroin, and prescription medication. On the street one painkiller pill can go for $25 while a hit of heroin is $3. New Jersey has one of the highest rates of deaths for heroin, more than places such as New York City.
The police have been cracking down on heroin possession throughout New Jersey. This past year New Jersey had their largest seizure of heroin in the last decade in Union County after seizing 5.5 kilograms (4,300 bricks) with an estimated street value of $3 million. In Middlesex alone three people were arrested for large possessions of heroin, powdered cocaine, crack, and marijuana from a home on Mountain Avenue. In the bust, 2,800 bags of heroin, 16.9 grams of powdered cocaine, 9 grams of crack cocaine, and 5.5 grams of marijuana were found.
If you arrested for a drug busts, know your rights. Make sure that you think before you talk. You have the right to remain silent. Make sure that you contact a lawyer right away. Make sure that you corporate even if you feel that your arrest is unfair.
We understand that if you are charged for possession of drugs this can be a confusing and difficult time for you. We want to help you understand to the best of our abilities the process that you will go through and also what to do in this situation.
What is Actual Possession and What is Constructive Possession?
If you are charged with actual possession the substance was in your possession or under your control. Constructive possession is an extended possession where a person has no hands-on custody of an object. This form of possession is also called “possession in law,” and exists where a person had knowledge of a product plus the ability to control it, without having physical contact with it. Possession is also not just limited to one person; it can be shared by several people.
How are Controlled Substances in New Jersey Graded?
They are graded according to a schedule. A schedule categorizes the drugs on how addictive and dangerous they are. This means that possession of any commonly used substances is a crime in the third degree. Schedule I level drugs include heroin, LSD, mescaline, and peyote. Schedule II drugs include opium, cocaine, methadone, and oxycodone, and schedule III drugs include amphetamines, methamphetamines, anabolic steroids, and ketamine. A third degree crime is punishable by 3-5 years of prison and up to $35,000 fine (in drug cases). In New Jersey all drug charges carry a mandatory minimum of 6-month drivers’ license suspension.
What Are Other Consequences that Will Occur After my Drug Arrest?
A drug arrest can change your life forever. It’s important to seek help right away. It is embarrassing and something that makes life outside of jail time hard. If you are convicted of a drug possession you will have a criminal record which will hurt your future career, educational opportunities, and ability to gain a professional licenses, to name a few. If you have children this can affect your ability to raise them and lead to child custody issues. Other issues may arise such as your right to vote and your right to possess firearms. Being arrested for drug possession is no joke. The best advice is to stay away from drugs, however, if you are arrested get a lawyer right away.
Where Do I Go From Here?
Being arrested for drug possession is a life-changing situation. Your way of life will change as a result of this arrest. Depending on the severity or the amount of the drug you possessed you’ll be facing different charges. It’s important to recognize that often times drug arrest come out of an addiction. People who use heroin, one of the biggest drugs in NJ right now, regularly are more likely to develop a physical dependence resulting in sweating, anxiety, depression, chills, cramps, to name a few. These symptoms may begin as early as 6 hours after the victims last hit.
Depending on your arrest, you may be placed into a treatment center.
It’s important to get students, particularly, the help they need right away. High school students who return to school after coming out of rehab are usually exposed to drugs their first day back in the classroom, with 93% of these students being offered drug on the first day back. The way that students are getting drugs is not the same as it was in the past. Getting drugs is as easy as going into their parent’s medicine cabinets or retaining an injury.
I want what is best for you. People have difficult situations and being arrested for drug possession does occur. New Jersey is taking steps to crack down on the current drug epidemic, particularly with heroin, a schedule I drug. Know that if you are in the unfortunate situation where you are arrested for either actual possession or constructive possession, you need a lawyer. I want to help you and make sure you know what’s going on. I am not here to make you feel embarrassed. I am here to guide you on the best course of action. If you win, I win. Contact me today to discuss your situation and how I can help you today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.