Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2) – New Jersey Defense Attorney
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a common charge in New Jersey. Police often charge this crime in combination with other drug crimes. Examples of drug paraphernalia include:
- Marijuana pipes
- Water pipes
- Roach clips
- Cocaine straws
- Rolling papers
In most cases, the paraphernalia has to be tested in a lab to determine whether there is in fact drug residue on it. Contact a New Jersey criminal defense attorney about your particular case.
The law specifically states that it is unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.
Punishment for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons offense punishable by up to 6 months in jail, loss of driver’s license, and fines. If you are convicted, it will be on your criminal record.
Often, as in most drug offenses, several defenses and alternate approaches are available. Your New Jersey criminal defense attorney may be able to prove that your constitutional rights were violated during an illegal search or during questioning. Usually, this charge is combined with charges such as possession of a CDS, in which case this charge can be merged into the accompanying charge.
Conditional discharge is a diversionary program available to first time drug offenders. A court may suspend further proceedings and place the defendant on supervisory treatment, sometimes ordering certain conditions to be met during supervisory treatment. Upon completion of supervisory treatment and any conditions, the charge is dismissed.
To be eligible for the conditional discharge, the defendant cannot have any prior drug conviction and never have been previously placed in a conditional discharge or pretrial intervention program. In addition, the defendant may not pose a danger to the community and the court must rule that the defendant will benefit while the public will be protected by defendant’s admittance into the program.
The court must suspend the defendant’s driver’s license from 6 months to 2 years after admittance into the conditional discharge program. However, if the defendant can prove a “hardship” if he or she loses the driver’s license, the court has discretion not to suspend the defendant’s driving privilege.