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Drug Possession

Ocean County Drug Possession Lawyer

Our lawyers having defending drug possession charges at the Superior Court and municipal courts throughout Ocean County for decades. This category of criminal offense may, in fact, represent the largest block of violations handled by the lawyers at Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall.  An individual can be charged with possession under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 if they lack a valid prescription for a controlled dangerous substance, including marijuana, hash, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA, Oxycontin, steroids, and other street and prescription drugs. A lawyer on our defense team is ready to assist you if you were arrested for a third degree, fourth degree or disorderly persons offense for possession of cds in Toms River, Jackson, Manchester, Lakewood or Brick. To speak to an attorney in a free initial consultation, contact our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500.

Simple Possession

You can be charged pursuant to N.J.S.A 2C: 35-10 if you possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) without a valid prescription. Possession of a Schedule I Drug (Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, Opium), Schedule II Drug (Cocaine, Methamphetamine), Schedule III Drug (Steroids), or Schedule IV Drug (Xanax, Valium) is a third degree crime, punishable by up 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $35,000.00. Possession of a Schedule V Drug (e.g. codeine cough suppressant) without a valid prescription is a fourth degree crime and you face up 18 months of incarceration and a fine of up to $15,000.00. The penalties for Possession of Marijuana are based solely on the weight/quantity of the drug in your possession. For instance, possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, or more than five grams of hashish, is a crime of the fourth degree, punishable by up 18 months jail time and a fine of up to $25,000.00. If you are arrested for possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, or less than 5 grams of hashish you will be charged with a disorderly person offense, and face up to 6 months in jail.






Schedule I,II, III & IV

Any for personal use

Third Degree


Up to 5 Years

Schedule V


Fourth Degree

Up to 18 Months


- 50 grams or less

- More than 50 grams

Disorderly Persons Offense

Fourth Degree

Up to 6 Months

Up to 18 Months

Prescription Drugs

- less than 5 dosage units

-5 to 100 dosage units

-More than 100 dosage units

Fourth Degree

Third Degree

Second Degree




Up to 18 Months

Up to 5 Years

5-10 Years

“Constructive Possession”

In order to completely comprehend New Jersey’s Drug Possession Law you need to understand the notion of “constructive possession” A person can be arrested for possessing a drug without ever even putting their hands on it. This is because under the law, you technically possessed the drug by having an intention to exercise physical control over. This is further reiterated in State v. Brown (1979),where the court held that physical or manual control of the substance is not necessary to establish liability so long as there is manifested intention to exercise control.

Heightened Penalties for Drug Possession

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, the degree of the crime may be upgraded and penalties may be escalated. For instance, depending on the amount of drugs in your possession and the manner in which you are possessing them at the time of arrest you can be charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute. Under N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-5, you are guilty of Possession with Intent to Distribute if you knowingly or purposely possessed a controlled substance, “with intent to distribute or dispense it”. Again your intent can often be inferred from the quantity of narcotics in your possession at the time of arrest. Furthermore, if you are charged with Drug Possession in a School Zone you will be required to perform at least 100 hours of community service, in addition to any other penalties imposed by the court. A “school zone” is defined as being within 1,000 feet of school property, property used for school purposes even if you did not know you were.

Drug Possession Defenses

One of the biggest tools for avoiding incarceration and even a criminal record in a drug possession case is through diversionary programs. Under the conditional discharge program set forth at N.J.S.A 2C:36A-1, a defendant charged with a drug related disorderly person offense can have prosecution of the offense suspended for a year. Provided he/she is not arrested for a new charge and submits clean drug/urine tests during the period conditional discharge period, the offense is dismissed. The program for diversion of indictable charges (e.g. third degree crime or fourth fourth degree crime) is Pretrial Intervention ("PTI"). PTI involves more formal probation than conditional discharge and is typically for a term of one to three years. Successful completion of the probation results in dismissal of the related drug possession or other Ocean County Superior Court violation.

CDS Possession Lawyers in Ocean County

Hiring the right lawyer to represent you a possession of cds case can make all the difference in the outcome of your charge. The lawyer at our Toms River firm are highly qualified litigators who have been defending individuals arrested for possessing drugs for decades in Berkeley, Stafford, Brick, Lacey, Barnegat, Little Egg Harbor or elsewhere in Ocean County. If you would like to speak with an experience criminal defense attorney about your drug possession offense, contact our Toms River office at (732) 286-6500 to schedule a meeting or receive a consultation over the telephone. As always all initial conferences between you and our criminal attorneys is strictly confidential and free of charge.

Related Drug Possession Resources

Marijuana Possession

Cocaine Possession

Methamphetamine Possession

Prescription Drug Possession

Brick NJ Drug Possession Lawyer

Manchester Township Drug Possession Attorneys

Toms River NJ Drug Possession Lawyers

Point Pleasant Beach Drug Possession Attorney

Jackson NJ Drug Possession Defense Attorneys

Toms River NJ MDMA Possession Lawyers

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