Maintaining a Drug Production Facility Lawyer in Burlington County
New Jersey refers to illegal drugs as controlled dangerous substances, each given its own designation in the Schedules of Drugs. Possessing and distributing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) can land a violator in prison for a long time, with distribution being the worse of the two. However, running or participating in a drug production facility is as serious as you can get with an indictable drug crime in New Jersey, with serious penalties to match. If you have been charged with maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) production facility, you absolutely must know some critical facts about the New Jersey law governing these offenses and the ramifications of these charges.
It is equally important that you have experienced representation from a criminal defense lawyer who knows the law and the legal process from an insider’s perspective and can defend you in the most effective manner. Former Deputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, William C. Fay, IV, is well-equipped to tackle the challenges of your case. With prior experience prosecuting and investigating the most serious crimes on behalf of the state, he now puts this insider’s insight to work when defending his client’s in Burlington County and throughout Southern New Jersey. To receive a free legal consultation, call our local Evesham Township office at (609)-850-8284 today.
What New Jersey law makes it a crime to maintain or operate a CDS production facility?
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4 prohibits maintaining or operating a CDS production facility. The law defines the terms “production facility” and what it means to maintain and operate such a manufacturing premises.
What is an individual prohibited from doing in a drug facility in New Jersey?
Anyone who knowingly maintains or operates a facility to make controlled dangerous substances is guilty of violating the law in New Jersey section 2C:35-4. Knowledge or intention is necessary for an individual to break the law. They cannot unwittingly participate in a manufacturing operation that they did not know was producing illegal drugs. It is also unlawful to participate in some fashion in the manufacturing operation. As such, marketing, financing, and managing a drug production facility is likewise illegal. Again, knowledge is an element of proof for the state to convict someone of this crime.
What type of facility is illegal according to N.J.S. A. 2C:35-4?
In New Jersey, a location where prohibited drug manufacturing takes place is a facility for purposes of the statute. The language in the statute includes “place” or “premises,” which could mean any space, including a rented garage or industrial unit where CDS manufacturing or storage occurs. It could also mean your home if you manufacture or store illegal drugs at your residence, whether a house, cabin, loft, or apartment. Any place where an individual, alone or with others, maintained, meaning continually used (more than twice), to produce controlled dangerous substances.
Who can the state charge with maintaining or operating a CDS production facility? What are the possible participant roles?
Anyone who engages in prohibited acts outlined in the statute is liable for the crime, meaning anyone participating in maintaining or operating a CDS manufacturing facility. A participant could include someone who owns the manufacturing premises or production site. It could be one who finances the operation, even though they do not otherwise participate in the plant operations. Those who manage others working in the production facility and those who make, package, or promote the products of the production facility may also commit the first degree crime violating 2C:35-4. Anyone who receives money or other compensation for their participation or contracts to get a specific portion of the operation’s proceeds may also be a participant for purposes of the statute. However, all individuals deemed participants, promoters, aiders, and subsidizers of the operation must know the plant manufactures illegal drugs to be liable.
Which drugs qualify for NJ drug production facility charges?
Schedule I and II drugs are those that New Jersey and the federal government classify as most dangerous due to their addictive nature while lacking medicinal value. Schedule I and II drugs, the ones that New Jersey and the nation consider most dangerous, include heroin, mescaline, methamphetamine, peyote, Phenylcyclohexyl piperidine (PCP), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and flunitrazepam. It also includes Lycergic acid diethylamide (LSD), oxycodone, fentanyl, marijuana (in large amounts over ten plants or five pounds), and methadone, among others, including their analogs (similar chemical compounds). The state considers these drugs the most addictive and ripe for abuse. Punishing those who maintain facilities to produce Schedule I and II drugs and their analogs is the state’s intention, which leads to aggressive enforcement and prosecution for these crimes.
What are the penalties for maintaining or operating a CDS production facility in NJ?
It is a first degree crime to violate N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4, maintaining and operating a CDS production facility in New Jersey. A conviction results in a possible 20 years in prison and up to $750,000.00 or five times the street value of the CDS produced in the facility, whichever is greater, as fines. First degree crimes come with a 10 to 20-year sentence and a presumption of incarceration. In other words, a defendant must convince the prosecutor and judge that they should not go to prison to rebut the presumption, a challenging task to say the least.
A first degree crime conviction for drug production facility charges carries decades of prison time under New Jersey law. As a result, you face a lengthy sentence and an enormous fine. You could be sentenced to incarceration for up to 20 years if convicted. Depending on your alleged role in the controlled dangerous substances production facility, a judge may believe you should receive the maximum sentence. On the reverse side of the scenario, you could get your charges dismissed or significantly reduced to arrive at a lesser sentence. However, a stellar outcome requires an exceptional defense.
Should I hire a lawyer to defend me in a drug production facility case?
You may have extenuating circumstances as to why you participated in the drug manufacturing operations, or maybe your role was minor, such as a delivery driver, not a financier or promoter of the business. Without an attorney, it is hard to know a good plea deal or achieve a better result in exchange for a guilty plea. More importantly, you may have defenses that require the case against you to be dismissed due to police irregularities that violate your rights. You may not be aware of an unlawful search or similar violations, or how to file a motion to get illegal evidence aimed at convicting you thrown out of court.
While an attorney is not mandatory in court, it is highly recommended so that you can put up your most robust defense. A criminal conviction on your record can hamper your goals and employment prospects regardless of the charges you face, so you want to ensure that you have a good defense and avoid a conviction if possible. In cases involving first degree drug charges for a CDS production facility, hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer is an essential.
Charged with Maintaining or Operating a CDS Production Facility? Contact our Evesham Defense Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
If you have been arrested or are under investigation for your role in a drug production facility, contact our Burlington County criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case and learn how we can help. We defend clients in Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Lumberton, Medford, Maple Shade, Burlington Township, and surrounding towns in the greater South Jersey area. Call (609)-850-8284 to talk to a lawyer free of charge and begin to ease your mind about what is ahead in the criminal justice process.
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