Drug crimes carry serious penalties in New Jersey. If you have been charged with possession, manufacturing, trafficking, sale or distribution, you could be facing substantial fines and months or years behind bars. However, there are several possible defenses to drug crimes in New Jersey, and you can (and should) hire an Essex County drug lawyer to fight your charge by all means available.
How can you fight a New Jersey drug charge? Here are seven examples of possible defenses:
1. Unlawful Search or Seizure
When the police stopped you, came to your home or place of business or seized evidence, did they violate your constitutional rights? The police must follow strict protocols when executing searches and seizures. If they failed to follow these protocols, this may provide a defense in your drug crime case.
2. Unlawful Arrest
The police must also follow the law when making an arrest. If the police arrested you without probable cause, or if they interrogated you in custody without reading your Miranda rights, this may also provide you with a defense in court.
3. Lack of Ownership
To secure a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove that the drugs they seized were yours. If you were simply in the presence of drugs (for example, if you were at a party where other people were using drugs), this does not make you guilty of a crime.
4. Lack of Intent
Certain drug crimes in New Jersey require evidence of intent. For example, one of the most common drug charges in New Jersey is possession with intent to sell. If you lacked intent to sell (or if prosecutors cannot prove that you had the requisite intent), then you should not be found guilty.
5. You Have a Prescription
If the police arrested you for unlawful possession of prescription medication and you have a valid prescription, your prescription will be critical evidence in your case. You will need to work with an Essex County drug lawyer to make sure you can present this evidence in court.
6. The Prosecution Doesn’t Have Evidence
In drug crime cases (and in all criminal cases in New Jersey), the prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If prosecutors cannot prove the drugs were yours, if they cannot prove the substance seized is an illegal drug, or if they cannot prove that you had the requisite intent, then you deserve to walk free.
7. Seeking Entry Into a Diversionary Program
Finally, in some cases, the best option is to seek entry into one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs. These programs allow first-time offenders to avoid a conviction by satisfying certain requirements. An Essex County drug lawyer can help you decide if this is your best option, and, if it is, your lawyer can help you seek entry into an appropriate program.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Essex County Drug Lawyer Scott Gorman
Are you facing a drug charge in New Jersey? To discuss your case with Essex County drug lawyer Scott Gorman in confidence, call 201-489-9199 or request a free consultation online today.
Published in Categories: Drug Posession