3 Important Answers to your Drug Crime Questions
Drug crimes in New Jersey are a serious matter, coming with hefty penalties and possible long-term consequences. Although certain laws, especially regarding marijuana, are becoming more lax, the legislation in New Jersey remains strict and unforgiving. Here are a few answers to your top questions regarding drug crime:
What constitutes drug possession and what are the penalties?
The definition of drug possession is not as obvious as it seems. Yes, drug possession is primarily defined as being found with drugs in your hand, in your mouth, in your pocket, etc. Unfortunately drug possession can also link a person to a place they own or have direct control.
Penalties for drug possession vary with the type of drug and the amount in possession. Drugs are commonly classified by “schedules”, schedule I being the most harmful and most addictive. The ranking conclude at schedule V drugs, being the least severe classification. Thus, penalties are more long-term and fines are more expensive for schedule I drugs. In New Jersey, jail time can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months for drug possession. With the severity of these charges, it is important for offenders to have an NJ drug crime lawyer.
When am I required to adhere to a drug search?
There are times when law enforcers push the limits of the law to access important information or evidence. Situations such as these are when it is absolutely necessary to know your rights. For drug crime situations, police must have a search warrant in order to search you, your home, your car, or any of your property for drugs.
The only opportunity when law enforcers are allowed to search your person and even confiscate drug evidence, is when drugs are clearly visible. For example if drugs are left on the seat of a car you happen to be in, or if a police officer walks up to you while you’re smoking an illegal drug. All scenarios can account for a valid and legal drug searches.
If you happen to be unaware of your rights prior to the search and a law enforcer unlawfully confiscates drugs for later evidence, this can be used against he/she in court. This is when having a drug crime lawyer in New Jersey is key– to explain the rights and wrongs and to capitalize on situations such as these that could ease punishments.
When is Rehabilitation an Alternative to Jail Time?
This is an option that varies state to state, and is still only ten years new to certain counties in New Jersey. The legislation in New Jersey was finding that people convicted of drug crimes were getting caught in a vicious cycle of temporary prison times, fines, broken probations, etc. Conditions were not improving and the rate of drug crimes were not decreasing. Thus, the idea of rehabilitation to replace jail time for consistent repeat offenders was implemented. It is considered a more proactive stand against the continuing buying, selling, and using of drugs. Drug Court is this division, and it places offenders in a three to five year program where they are constantly monitored, drug tested, and counseled. However, these people do not evade dealing with the law completely. There are separate judges for Drug Court who these offenders meet with and answer to on a consistent basis. Having an NJ drug crime lawyer would help, especially repeat offenders, become aware of options such as this.
Encounters with the law cannot only disrupt a day or week, but can have lasting effects financially, career wise, and even socially. It’s important to get the legal help you keep charges as minimal as possible. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding drug crime, or needs representation in court for a drug crime, Thomas Campo is a dependable and effective New Jersey lawyer. Contact us at the law offices of Thomas Campo for any questions or concerns.