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Distribution of Drugs in a Public Park

Toms River NJ Distribution of CDS in a Public Park Attorneys

The penalties for selling drugs get even more serious if the conduct is within a public park or housing project. The reason is because there is an entirely separate second degree offense that arises under the New Jersey Criminal Code. This charge is common throughout the region, particularly in towns like Toms River, Lacey, Jackson, South Toms River, Brick, Point Pleasant Beach and Little Egg Harbor, which all ranked in the top 40 statewide for heroin and opiate abuse. The lawyers at our Toms River Criminal Firm have decades of experience defending distribution charges, including public park offenses. If you were arrested in anywhere in the county for a public park violation, Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has the knowledge to help you. Our attorneys know what needs to be done in order to give our clients the best chance of avoiding a conviction and the presumption of incarceration that applies in second degree public park cases. We have over 100 years of collective experience defending CDS/drug offenses, including many years serving as prosecutors at the county level and in municipal courts, including in Ocean County. A lawyer is available now to discuss all of the circumstances surrounding your office by contacting our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500.

Charged with Selling or Distributing CDS in a Public Park Zone or Housing Project?

When someone is arrested for distribution of controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) and the conduct allegedly took place within 500 feet of a public park, housing project, or public building, a separate criminal charge under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 applies. If the prosecutor can prove that you sold or possessed an illegal drug with the intent to distribute within this 500 foot zone, you are exposed to penalties for a second degree crime. What this means is that you are subject to a presumption of incarceration for a period in the neighborhood of seven (7) years if you are convicted of intent to sell CDS in a public park or housing project zone. This exposure is in addition to those penalties that apply for the underlying drug distribution charge under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.

Important Definitions Under 2C:35-7.1. To understand how this law applies, you need to know how terms are defined under the statute. The following is what you need to know about these terms:

Public Park. This term includes a park, recreation facility, area or playground that is owned or controlled by the state, county or a local governing body.

Public Housing Project. This term refers to a dwelling, complex, building or other form of real property which is owned or leased to low income residents by local housing authority.

If you distribute drugs within 500 feet of property qualifying under either of these definitions, the prosecutor must present a map demonstrating that the violation occurred within this prohibited zone in order to obtain conviction.

Potential Defenses to a Public Park Charge. In accordance with 2C:35-7.1(d), it is an affirmative defense to this charge if the conduct was not “for profit” and did not involve a a person seventeen (17) years of age or younger. It is not a defense, however, to this offense that the accused lacked knowledge or intent to be present in the public park/housing project zone at the time of the conduct.

Penalties That Apply to a Public Park Conviction

As previously stated, a 2C:35-7.1 violation is a second degree crime. The range of the prison term is 5-10 years and there is a maximum fine of $150,000. There is also a presumption that an individual will be incarcerated if they are found guilty of this offense. What this means is that it is a virtual certainty that you will have to serve a prison term if you are convicted of selling drugs in a public park or housing project. There is also a mandatory extended term (e.g. double the time in jail) upon application by the prosecutor if you are found guilty for this violation and have a prior conviction for distributing CDS. You certainly need to contact us if you are exposed to such punishment.

Barnegat Township NJ Public Park Drug Lawyer

Prosecutors tend to be very inflexible when it comes to public parks charges. This is why it is very important to select an attorney with excellent skills in this area of law. Our staff possesses more than a century representing individuals charge with marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and MDMA distribution in towns like Manchester, Beachwood, Stafford, Berkeley, and Ocean Township to name a few. Our team includes former prosecutors from Ocean County and a team of attorneys with over 100 years of collective experience. A lawyer with all of the skills necessary to protect you is ready to analyze your case and formulate a comprehensive plan to succeed on your behalf. Lawyers are available 24/7 at (732) 286-6500 for free consultation.

Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 10 Allen St #2Dreet, Toms River, NJ 08753, Toms River, Lacey, Jackson, South Toms River, Brick, Point Pleasant Beach and Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Beachwood, Stafford, Berkeley, and Ocean Township.

Additional Drug Distribution Resources to Assist You
What Clients Say About Our Ocean County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Exemplary attorneys. I hired them for a DUI and an expungement. I was happy with the results for both cases. Special thank you to Samera for always answering all of my calls and questions JC
I'm 45 years old and this was my first time ever getting in trouble with the law. I was in need of a lawyer and after careful research, I called John F. Marshall Attorneys and was introduced to Abe Basch. Abe was professional, supportive and very thorough. I had three charges against me, one civil and two criminal. I was so scared and expressed that to Abe. The first day I had to go to court, I was an absolute nervous wreck but Abe prepped me and kept my anxiety levels down by going over the process of the courts thoroughly with me. He fought to get my charges dismissed and won all three cases (two court appearances). Abe is positive, confident and he ensured I felt the same way. I'd like to say thank you to Abe for working so diligently on my cases to get them dismissed. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest! I highly recommend Abe for any charges you may be faced with. Rose C.
I was out of state on a family emergency and I had to retain council asap as a boy friend was sitting in county jail with the new no bail point system and Mr marshal and staff made me feel Soo much better knowing that my detained loved one was in such great hands! He spoke to me as I was outta state kept in touch allowed me to work out payment due to the situation and just all out the difference in my bfs voice alone with all the medical problems and such he was going threw sounded better than he had since the first day he was there and was Soo happy that Mr marshal went that day retained to see him in the jail and have him ready for court which wasn't supposed to be till Friday but again Mr marshall and team got it so we can get him now on wendsday and all I have to say is if your looking for a real down to earth lawyer that will work with you and help in anyway possible and I can't for get the team at the office TONI and everyone else thank you again I'd give 100 stars if I could! Nicole J.
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