Morristown Cocaine Charges Lawyer
Defense Attorneys for Cocaine Possession and Distribution in Morris County, New Jersey
Prosecutors all over New Jersey actively prosecute cocaine charges to the fullest extent of the law. Cocaine possession is a serious felony charge in New Jersey punishable by prison time, fines, a driver’s license suspension, and a permanent felony conviction on your record.
If you have been charged with cocaine possession or distribution, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced cocaine defense lawyer. The attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have extensive experience representing clients charged with drug-related crimes in Morristown, Parsippany, Madison, Florham Park, Roxbury, and throughout Morris County.
Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled thousands of cases all over New Jersey. Our managing partner, Travis J. Tormey, has an extensive track record of successfully defending clients against a variety of drug-related charges in Municipal Court, Superior Court, and Federal Court. In fact, Mr. Tormey was recognized as a top 10 criminal defense lawyer in the State of NJ by the American Jurist Institute and has a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo.com, an attorney rating service. With offices in Morristown, New Jersey, Mr. Tormey handles serious drug cases in Morris County on a regular basis.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a cocaine offense in Morris County, contact the Tormey Law Firm at (908) 336-5008 for a free consultation, or you can use the online contact form to schedule a free appointment at our centrally-located Morristown office. A member of our criminal defense team will be happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with an honest assessment of your case.
Cocaine Possession Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1)
Possession of cocaine is a criminal offense in New Jersey governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1), which provides:
a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226. Any person who violates this section with respect to:
(1) A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 35,000.00 may be imposed;
Cocaine Possession Penalties in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, Cocaine offenses are always serious because they are classified as indictable felonies. Cocaine possession in New Jersey is a third degree criminal offense. The greater the quantity of cocaine seized, the higher the degree grading for the indictable offense. These charges must be handled at the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. If convicted, you will have an indictable (felony) criminal record and you are facing three (3) to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison.
How to Resolve my Cocaine Possession Case in Morris County NJ
If you had a very small amount of cocaine, although the charge will initially be graded as a felony charge, it could possibly be downgraded back to the Municipal Court as a disorderly persons (misdemeanor) offense. In addition, we can look at the traffic stop (if applicable) and search to see if there are any legal issues to potentially file a motion to suppress and have the case dismissed. Finally, the State has to send the drugs to the State police lab for testing. In many cases, these lab results are delayed and take months to be produced. In some cases, this delay can result in the Judge dismissing the case based on a a violation to the defendant’s right to a speedy trial. Finally, you may be eligible for a first time offender program where you can be placed on probation and the case will be dropped if you successfully complete the probationary term (this is known as the PTI program).
Morris County NJ Distribution of Cocaine – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Distribution of cocaine offenses in New Jersey are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. The charge is graded based on the amount of the drug (in this case cocaine) associated with the alleged offense:
- First degree distribution – Possession of five (5) ounces or more of cocaine with intent to distribute. This is punishable by 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison, and there is a presumption of incarceration for first time offenders.
- Second degree distribution – Possession of more than one-half ounce but less than five (5) ounces of cocaine with intent to distribute. This is punishable by five (5) to ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison, and there is a presumption of incarceration for first time offenders.
- Third degree distribution – Possession of less than one-half ounce of cocaine with intent to distribute. This is punishable by three (3) to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison, and there is a presumption of non-incarceration if the defendant has no prior criminal history. NOTE: This means that you could receive a probationary sentence if you are convicted of third degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute as long as you have no prior criminal record.
How to Resolve my Cocaine Distribution Charges in Morris County NJ
Possession of Cocaine with intent to distribute is a serious charges. Can the State prove that you were actually distributing drugs? Are they basing the distribution charges solely on the large amount of cocaine in your possession? That is not usually enough. They must be able to prove that you were actually selling drugs (with witnesses to the transaction) or show that you had other things in your possession which proves that you were distributing cocaine (such as scales, baggies, notebooks with sales, multiple cell phones, etc.)
Further, you can try and challenge the traffic stop (if applicable), search, search warrant, etc. to see if the drugs can be excluded in court.
Depending on your prior criminal history, you may be eligible for diversionary programs known as PTI or Drug Court. You should speak to your attorney about these possibilities.
Contact a Parsippany Cocaine Charges Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been charged with a cocaine possession or distribution in Morris County or elsewhere in New Jersey, there are defenses available. Also, if you have no prior criminal record, there is a presumption of non-incarceration. As such, if this is your first offense, you may be considered a good candidate for probation. Moreover, you are eligible for the Pre-Trial Intevention (PTI) program, which can allow you to avoid a criminal record if you successfully complete the diversionary program. To learn more, contact (908) 336-5008 today for a free consultation with an experienced Morris County cocaine defense attorney.