Toms River NJ Heroin Possession Defense Lawyers
Charged With Possessing Heroin in Ocean County. Call Our Toms River Office for Immediate Assistance From Our Former County and Municipal Prosecutors.
All you have to do is pick up the Asbury Park Press or another Ocean County Newspaper and recognize the resurgence of heroin. In fact, the Division of Addiction Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services recently ranked Toms River as the eighth worst municipality in terms of heroin and opiate abuse although it is far from the stereotypical drug den. It is thus plainly apparent that heroin possession is at least as predominant in Ocean County per capita as almost any municipality in the state. Both the Toms River Police Department and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office have taken this alarming statistic very seriously and have ramped up efforts to curb this epidemic through increased law enforcement surveillance, new drug rehabilitation diversion programs, and education programs for teens. Unfortunately, young people and chronic users alike continue to struggle with drug abuse and addiction, a devastating ailment that often leads to considerable legal problems.
The lawyers on our defense team include former prosecutors and a team that possesses over 100 years of collective experience. We have handled literally thousands of heroin possession offenses over the years. This experience has allowed us to gain invaluable knowledge as to the best approach for helping our clients avoid lifelong consequences, including a felony conviction and addiction. You can call us anytime of day for immediate consultation with an attorney. We hope you find the information that follows to be of assistance and do not hesitate to contact us directly as there is no obligation associated with the call.Will You Have a Felony Record if You are Convicted of Heroin Possession?
Yes. Even possession of the smallest amount of heroin is graded as a third degree felony criminal offense in New Jersey. There is no misdemeanor, commonly referred to as a disorderly persons offense, when it comes to heroin possession. What this also means is that if you have been charged with possessing heroin, your case will be heard at the Ocean County Superior Court. The only heroin proceedings heard outside of Toms River involving initial arraignments in the municipal court of the town in which the arrest took place (i.e. Toms River Municipal Court).How Will the Prosecutor Prove That I Possessed Heroin?
Under New Jersey Law, a person can be charged with possession of heroin if they knowingly or purposely possess the drug. Possession can exist in three (3) ways – actual possession, constructive possession or joint possession. Actual possession occurs when a person physically controls, holds, or houses heroin. A person constructively possesses heroin when they are able to exercise control by direct or indirect means in a manner that would affect the item. Constructive possession typically arises in cases where the drug is found in an automobile, apartment or house occupied by more than one individual and it is unclear who owned the heroin. Joint possession exists when two or more people have the ability and intention to exercise dominion and/or control over the drug. The court will consider the following factors in its determination as to whether joint possession exists: the relationship of the individuals, whether they maintain a commercial or personal relationship, statements made by the persons involved, conduct of the persons involved, whether the parties traveled together, whether the parties pooled money or resources, the amount of drugs or illicit substances involved and whether one party had sole possession of the heroin.What are the Penalties You Face if Convicted of Possessing Heroin?
As previously stated, possessing heroin is a felony — a third degree crime. Accordingly, an individual will have a felony record if they possessed heroin and are convicted of this offense. Third degree possession of heroin carries a presumptive jail sentence of between three (3) to five (5) years in prison. The maximum fine is $25,000. A defendant may also be subject to a period of community service, probation and/or drug treatment. Since possessing any weight of heroin is a 2C:35 violation, there is also a mandatory drivers license suspension of 6 months to 2 years that applies.Can I Avoid These Penalties Even if I am Guilty?
New Jersey has established a diversion program known as Pretrial Intervention. Eligibility for the program is limited to first time offenders and allows an individual to avoid a felony conviction altogether if they successfully complete a period of probation/supervision.
Our firm is ready to assist you if you are facing possession charges and initial consultations are without charge. Give us a call if you require our assistance.