How To Fight a Control Substance Charge In New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, N.J. 39:4-49.1, if you have a controlled dangerous substance in your car, you may get ticketed. The code on such a ticket will most often describe the offense as “cds in a motor vehicle.” The law specifically states that it is an offense to drive a car or any other motor vehicle on any road, street, avenue or other publicly maintained road in New Jersey if you, as the motorist, know that a controlled dangerous substance is in your vehicle.
The exception to this law is if you obtained the substance or drug from, or on a valid written prescription of, a health care professional that is licensed to write such prescriptions. The penalty for violating this law includes a fine of $50 or more and the loss of your right to operate your car for two years.
Defending a Controlled Substance Charge
Just because you were cited for having a controlled dangerous substance in your car, it does not mean that you need to be convicted on the charges. With the help of an aggressive New Jersey controlled substance attorney, you may be able to successfully defend this charge and avoid the harsh penalties and results. In order to do so, you and your attorney need to explore several important issues, including:
- The initial stop by the law enforcement officer
- The search conducted by the law enforcement officer
- Any other circumstances under which the police officer found the alleged controlled dangerous substances in your car
Once you have explored these issues, you will need to look at the requirements of the statute itself. In order for the prosecution to successfully convict you of a controlled substance charge under New Jersey law, he or she needs to prove each element of the rule of law. These elements include the facts that:
- You were the driver of the vehicle when the ticket was issued
- The motor was running – meaning the prosecutor would have to prove that the substance was in your car at the time you were in the driver’s seat and was actually driving the car
- What the police actually took from your car was a “controlled dangerous substance”
- You knew that the substance was in your car
- Look at the location of the bust – whether private or public
In order to defend this serious charge, it is imperative that you immediately hire an experienced attorney. Without an attorney on your side, you may be convicted of the charges and suffer serious penalties associated with the crime.
Have you or someone you know been charged with the offense of possession of a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle? If so, you need to immediately consult with an experienced attorney. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a New Jersey controlled substance attorney, please contact the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404 a free consultation.