Maple Shade Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of Drugs Attorneys
A drug possession arrest can lead to tremendous financial and personal loss. In New Jersey, you could face charges for possessing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and the additional charge of failing to turn over drugs to law enforcement. New Jersey statute 2C:35-10(c) makes it an offense to knowingly have a CDS or an analog of a drug (synthetic version or designer drug) and to refrain from handing it over to the nearest law enforcement officer or police station. In actuality, one incident of getting caught with illegal drugs can lead to two separate charges, perhaps even more if you also have drug paraphernalia at the time, thus compounding your problems.
If you are facing a disorderly persons charge for failing to make lawful disposition of CDS, it is extraordinarily important that you seek help from a criminal defense lawyer who has vast learning and background handling drug crime defense. The attorneys at the premier criminal law firm of Proetta, Oliver & Fay have the reputation, the background, and the confidence to defend your case. One of our partners began his career investigating and litigating criminal cases on behalf of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. Now, he has turned his experience on the other side of the justice system into an invaluable asset for his clients. Our attorneys defend clients charged with failure to turn over drugs in Burlington County communities like Evesham, Bordentown, Mount Laurel, Medford, Burlington Township, Pemberton, and Moorestown. We take free consultation requests anytime you need, so call (609) 850-8284 for a thorough conversation about your drug case.
Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of CDS Law in New Jersey
For the state to convict you of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c), which refers to failing to turn over a controlled dangerous substance to law enforcement, the prosecutor must prove two things. First, that you unlawfully possessed or obtained a CDS or its analog. That means you had no prescription for the CDS, or it was entirely illegal to possess, and perhaps it was in your hands, on your person in a bag or backpack, or in your house or car. The state can prove that you constructively possessed the CDS by keeping it in your dresser drawer over which you had control and access. The prosecutor must also prove that you knowingly possessed the drugs but failed to deliver them to the police. A judge can infer the required knowledge from the circumstances if it seems highly likely you were aware of the existence and location of the drugs.
Second, the state must prove that you did not voluntarily hand over a CDS or its analog that you knew you had in your possession. The state does not have to prove that you were under the influence of an illegal drug to prosecute you for failing to hand over drugs to law enforcement. They have to convince a judge that, beyond a reasonable doubt, you knew of the drugs and knowingly did not surrender them. In other words, if you had no idea the drugs existed and were in your backpack, you could not commit the crime of failing to turn over the illegal drugs. Proving knowledge can be difficult when there is no solid evidence like an admission, to tie the drugs to the accused person’s awareness of them. A skilled criminal defense lawyer knows how to exploit that lack of concrete proof in your favor.
The Penalties You Face if Convicted of Failure to Make Lawful Disposition in NJ
Failing to make lawful disposition of CDS is a disorderly persons offense. A conviction comes with a possible sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. In addition, a judge could suspend your driver’s license for six months or more, and you will have a criminal record for at least five years until you can get the conviction expunged.
Since New Jersey law allows convictions for all applicable offenses that arise from a single criminal incident, you could be facing a lengthy incarceration if you are charged with other offenses in addition to subsection (c) of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. This statute is especially harsh because it may include multiple charges beyond possession and failure to turn over drugs to the police. The statute allows the state to charge you with all crimes that may arise out of a single incident and detention, such as being under the influence of drugs in a public place.
Venue for Court Prosecution when Charged with Failure to Turn Over Drugs to the Police
Facing one disorderly persons offense for failure to turn over CDS can impact your criminal record and your future prospects if convicted of this offense in municipal court. The municipal court judge presides over disorderly persons offense cases. Your trial, if any, will be before a municipal court judge without a jury. Plus, facing several drug charges for both disorderly persons and indictable offenses means your case is no longer handled in municipal court, but in superior court. Indictable crimes go before a jury in a superior court. Thus, a versatile criminal defense attorney equally knowledgeable in both venues is a valuable ally. You need to prioritize finding and hiring a criminal defense lawyer familiar with municipal and superior court laws, rules, and procedures, as well as the nuances of defense for drug offenses.
Speak with a Mount Laurel NJ Failure to Make Lawful Disposition Lawyer
If you have been accused of failing to turn over drugs to law enforcement, you need a skilled attorney who can get your charge reduced to a lesser infraction or help you get into a diversionary program. You may be eligible for the conditional discharge programand avoid jail or a criminal conviction on your record for a first time offense. Alternatively, a seasoned criminal defense attorney may help you contest the charges and win. With a comprehensive review of your case, a lawyer who practices criminal law and drug crime defense day-in and day-out may find legal reasons to motion to the court or convince the prosecutor to dismiss your case, or a successful defense that results in a not guilty decision. A complete consultation with an attorney is worthwhile to hear what your future in the criminal system may hold.
An attorney at Proetta, Oliver & Fay is available immediately to assist you by calling (609) 850-8284. We provide aggressive defense for failure to make lawful disposition and other offenses in Mount Holly, Willingboro, Washington Township, Florence, Riverside Township, Cinnaminson, and other Burlington County municipalities. Contact our team for a free consultation.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted.
525 Highway 73, Suite 104, Marlton, New Jersey 08053 Phone: 609-850-8284 By Appointment Only
100 Horizon Center Boulevard, Hamilton, New Jersey, 08691 By Appointment Only
Point Pleasant Office
3828 River Road,
Suite A, Point Pleasant,
New Jersey 08742
By Appointment Only
180 Kings Highway, Middletown Township, New Jersey 07748 By Appointment Only