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Toms River Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin and Oxycodone Possession

Joseph Marsh, 28, of Toms River, pled guilty on Monday, June 1, to multiple charges including vehicular homicide, possession of heroin and oxycodone with intent to distribute, and driving under the influence of heroin. The vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated charges arose from an incident which had occurred in December of 2013, when Marsh was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Toms River. The additional charges for possession of controlled substances and intent to distribute arose from prior events when, in October 2012, police discovered ten bricks of heroin, 142 pills of oxycodone, and marijuana upon raiding Marsh’s home.

Toms River Heroin Possession Laws

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, Marsh will face penalties for possession of heroin, which will be classified as a second-degree crime since Marsh has also admitted that he in fact had an intent to distribute heroin as well. If the 10 bricks of heroin discovered in the raid of Marsh’s home weighed over 5 ounces, the offense will be escalated to a first-degree crime, and penalties could include 10-20 years of jail time, as well as a fine of up to $500,000.
The charges for driving under the influence of heroin, under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, could include a driver’s license suspension of 7 months to one year, over $700 in fines and fees, a $1,000 insurance surcharge per year for three years, and potentially up to 30 days in prison. If Marsh has any prior convictions for driving under the influence of either controlled substances or alcohol, these penalties could increase substantially, up to maximums of a driver’s license suspension of 10 years, an ignition interlock requirement during license suspension and for 1 to 3 years following license restoration, over $1,500 in fines and fees, a $1,500 insurance surcharge per year for three years, and 180 days in prison.

NJ Vehicular Homicide Penalties

N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5 provides stiff penalties for vehicular homicide, which is considered a second degree crime. Under this statute, potential penalties include 5 to 10 years of jail time, with a requirement that at least 85% of the sentence must be served before the offender may be released on parole. If a driver is found to be operating the vehicle recklessly, which is assumed when a driver is operating his vehicle under the influence, penalties can be increased to 10 to 30 years of jail time. Here, Marsh has accepted a plea bargain sentencing him to 10 years’ jail time as a result of these serious charges.

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