You’ve seen enough commercials to know that New Jersey is intent on cracking down on drugs. No doubt much of the focus is on opiate addiction. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get arrested for marijuana, cocaine or pills. With that in mind, there is also the issue of drug paraphernalia.
Just because you don’t get caught with a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) doesn’t mean you can’t be called to court on related charges. If you’re found to have any items associated with drug use, you can find yourself faced with drug paraphernalia charges. Meanwhile, it’s also not uncommon for police to bundle a paraphernalia charge with other drug-related crimes. This could include simple possession or possession with intent to sell.
Drug Paraphernalia Defined
More than likely, you already have some idea as to what is considered drug paraphernalia. In short, paraphernalia includes items used to consume drugs like pipes, vials, bongs, cocaine straws and hypodermic needles. Even if the paraphernalia bears no trace of the drugs, you can still be charged with possessing drug-related items.
NJSA 2C:36-1 provides an even more expansive definition of drug paraphernalia under New Jersey laws. For example, if you decided to grow weed in your home, you could face paraphernalia charges for items used in conjunction with planting or cultivating your stash. The same would be true for someone that sets up a meth lab. Notwithstanding, there’s no question that the paraphernalia offenses would be far less of a concern than the possession or distribution charges.
Avoiding Jail: The Most Important Thing
Is your charge just limited to possession of drug paraphernalia? If so, you need to know what kinds of penalties you are facing. You may be concerned that you could wind up in jail.
First, incarceration could be a reality. The maximum penalty for a first-time paraphernalia charge in New Jersey is six months in jail. Conviction can also include temporary loss of driver’s license and extensive fines. Without question, you’ll feel the impact on your personal freedom and pocketbook.
Even though the court could hit you with maximum penalties, it’s more common for experienced defense counsel to work out a plea agreement with the prosecutor. This is particularly true if it’s a first offense. Meanwhile, there may be reasons that your case could be thrown out of court entirely. For example, did the police comply with search and seizure laws?
Let Us Help You
The attorneys at Beninato & Matrafajlo have hekped a number of individuals charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.