Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
When the police discover a pipe, scale, grinder or another item typically associated with ingestion of a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”), you can expect a drug paraphernalia charge to be issued. While this is a disorderly persons offense falling under municipal court jurisdiction, a conviction results in a criminal record, fines and mandatory driver's license suspension. If you are facing a charge in Seaside Heights or another Ocean County town for possession of drug paraphernalia, you probably have a significant chance of avoiding these penalties if you hire a highly experienced criminal lawyer. The reasons we say this is because the attorneys at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver have a long history of escaping the pitfalls of a drug paraphernalia offense in Toms River, Stafford, Brick, Point Pleasant Beach, Lacey, Ocean Township, Manchester and Jackson. To speak to Matthew Dorry, an attorney who is the former prosecutor of approximately 15 municipalities in Ocean County or another member of our staff, contact our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500. Your initial consultation with a lawyer is free of charge.How Is “Drug Paraphernalia” Defined Under 2C:36-2?
An item is considered drug paraphernalia under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 if its use or intended use involves controlled dangerous substances (“CDS). The term includes, but is not limited to, materials or equipment used to grow, manufacture, package, or ingest CDS in violation of the NJ Criminal Code. Particular items commonly considered to be drug paraphernalia are set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 and include pipes, bongs, spoons, vials, envelopes, scales, sifters and grinders.Will You Have a Criminal Record if Convicted of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?
Yes. If you are found guilty of a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 it results in a 2C criminal record which will be revealed whenever an employer, bank, or other entity performs a criminal background check.Is Plea Bargaining Permitted in Drug Paraphernalia Cases?
Since a drug paraphernalia charge falls under the category of a drug offense, plea bargaining is prohibited. As a result, the only way to avoid a conviction is to successfully present a legal issue that defeats the offense. Examples of potential issues include failure on the part of police to conduct a valid stop or search, lack of actual or constructive possession, or lack of knowledge of the existence of the paraphernalia. A judge has no ability to accept an downgrade or dismissal of a possession of drug paraphernalia offense absent a valid legal issue that raises reasonable doubt concerning the state’s ability to prove the charge.How Does the Prosecutor Prove a Paraphernalia Violation?
There are three (3) elements that must be established by the prosecutor to prove a charge of use or possession of drug paraphernalia. First, the state must establish that the item was “drug paraphernalia”. Second, the item must have been used or possessed for use in conjunction with drugs. Third, the drug and/or drug activity associated with the item must be illegal. Each and every one of these elements must be proven, beyond reasonable doubt.What Are the Penalties If You Are Convicted of Violating 2C:36-2?
As previously stated, a conviction results in a criminal record. In addition, New Jersey Law imposes a mandatory drivers license suspension of between 6 months and 2 years, up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine as high as $1,000.Ocean County NJ Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer
As it is undoubtedly now evident to you, a drug paraphernalia charge can have much more of an impact on your life than you probably anticipated. A conviction will leave you with a driver’s license suspension and, probably worse yet, a lasting criminal record that can effect your ability to secure employment, apply for a professional license or even maintain your immigration status. For these reasons, you need to select the right lawyer to represent you. Our team of knowledgeable attorneys and former prosecutors routinely appear in municipal courts throughout Ocean County including those previously mentioned like Lacey, Brick, Seaside Heights, Toms River, Point Pleasant Beach, Ocean Township, Stafford, Manchester and Jackson. To speak to a highly accomplished drug paraphernalia defense attorney at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver, call (732) 286-6500. One of our lawyers is available 24/7 to assist you.
Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver, 250 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ 08753, represents clients charged with possession of drug paraphernalia throughout Ocean County, including in the municipal court of Toms River, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, Jackson, Stafford, Brick, Manchester, Lacey and Ocean Township.Related Resources That Can Be Found on This Site