Arrested for Drugs in Montclair NJ?
Like all larger cities in the United States, Montclair has its fair share of arrests and criminal charges. Drug crimes are among the most common reasons people are arrested in Montclair, leading to charges for possession of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, oxycontin, ecstasy, Xanax, and other drugs on a regular basis. While these charges are relatively common, they can result in serious punishments and will leave you with the burden of having a criminal record if you’re convicted. With this in mind, it is imperative to have a dedicated lawyer who can fight the case against you and seek the best possible outcome. If you have been charged with drug possession, contact our highly skilled Montclair drug possession lawyers now for the help you need. We provide aggressive defense representation and are available 24/7 to provide you with a free consultation. Call 201-654-3464 or contact us online today.
Drug Possession Charges in Montclair, New Jersey
Drug possession charges in Montclair are the same as those that occur elsewhere in New Jersey. All of these charges fall under NJSA 2C:35-10. Individuals can be charged an indictable offense for possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, and any amount of other controlled dangerous substances (CDS) like heroin, meth, acid, cocaine, molly, and other illegal narcotics, stimulants, and hallucinogens. You can also be arrested for possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription.
While most drug possession cases involve third degree crimes, there is a general exception for marijuana. If you have less than 50 grams of marijuana in your possession, this is still a criminal offense; however, it is considered a disorderly persons offense rather than an indictable offense or felony. Disorderly persons offenses include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
There are also separate charges for possession of prescription drugs that are not yours, explained in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5. The degree of prescription drug charges generally depends on the number of units or pills involved in the offense. For example, it is a third degree indictable offense if you have more than four but less than 100 units of some types of prescription drugs. These include things like Xanax, Valium, Ritalin, Methadone, and Oxycontin. If convicted of possessing prescription drugs, penalties may include thousands of dollars in fines and a prison sentence, the length of which depends on the degree of the crime and whether you are accused of intent to distribute.
Facing Drug Related Charges in Montclair
When arrested for possessing drugs, you may also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a disorderly persons offense. “Drug paraphernalia” refers to anything that would help you manufacture or consume illegal substances and the definition is deliberately broad. Basically, it could be virtually anything depending on the circumstances, including everyday items like spoons. If you are in a car at the time, you may also be charged with possession of drugs in a motor vehicle, which carries a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for two years.
Have a Montclair Drug Possession Case, What are my Options?
You may have multiple options available if you have been charged with having drugs in Montclair. The first and most important goal is to get the charges dismissed, which a good lawyer may be able to do by attacking something in the evidence of your case. Beyond an outright dismissal, there are other options too. For example, New Jersey has a specific drug court that offers unique sentencing options to encourage people to stop using. First-time drug offenders may be able to use other programs as well, including conditional discharge in municipal court and Pre-Trial Intervention in superior court. By completing these programs, you can have your charges dismissed and maintain a clean criminal record. You should talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about what options you may have.
Charged with Possessing Drugs in Montclair, Where will my Case be Handled?
Some drug charges in Montclair are handled in Essex County Superior Court in Newark. Specifically, all indictable drug offenses, meaning first, second, third, and fourth degree crimes, are transferred to the county superior court. This includes most drug possession and distribution cases arising out of Montclair and other areas in Essex County. Indictable (felony) offenses are considered more serious and carry state prison time. As such, they are prosecuted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and a defendant is entitled to a trial by jury, rather than having their case decided by the presiding judge in Montclair Municipal Court.
If you are charged with possession that amounts to a disorderly persons offense, like small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, then your case will be heard in the local municipal court in Montclair. New Jersey municipal courts have limited authority to hear just specific types of cases, including disorderly persons offenses, traffic issues, and municipal ordinance violations. In Montclair, the municipal courthouse is located at 647 Bloomfield Ave. They hold criminal court every Thursday, beginning at 9:30 am.
Need a Drug Possession Defense Lawyer in Montclair NJ
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession in the Montclair area, contact our attorneys at 201-654-3464 for defense help today. We know the court system in Montclair well, we appear on behalf of clients in both Montclair Municipal Court and Essex County Superior Court on a regular basis, and we can help you work through and fight your charges.