New Jersey Surgeon Arrested for Drug Possession
A surgeon from New Jersey was recently arrested en route to work for possession of cocaine, according to multiple media reports. The incident occurred on Sunday, August 4, 2019 when Vikas Patel, 36, was stopped for having tinted windows on his vehicle.
Patel, a neurosurgeon at Mountainside Medical Center, told officers who pulled him over that he was “hurrying to work.” The traffic stop was initiated around 1 a.m. According to one media report, Patel attempted to be evasive when answering questions from the officers about his vehicle documents and identification.
The traffic stop occurred on Rutherford Avenue in Lyndhurst, NJ. The vehicle’s registration was also expired. Patel lives in Parlin, which is in Middlesex County. A search of the vehicle was conducted when the officer noticed drug paraphernalia in plain view inside the vehicle.
A subsequent search of the vehicle led to the discovery of two vials of cocaine and additional drug paraphernalia. Patel was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of cocaine. He also received summonses for improper use of safety glass, having an unregistered motor vehicle and having drugs in a vehicle.
Patel was released pending his court hearing. Patel is innocent until he is proven guilty by a court of law.
New Jersey Cocaine Laws and Penalties
The laws and penalties for cocaine possession in the state of New Jersey are as follows:
- Cocaine is illegal in New Jersey and the rest of the country
- First offense for possession of cocaine allows the defendant a chance to attend a treatment program
- If entered into a treatment program, defendants must submit to regular drug tests and are placed on probation instead of being sentenced to prison
- Possession of cocaine is a third-degree crime and comes with a $35,000 fine
Working with an Attorney
When faced with possession of cocaine charges in New Jersey, it is always best to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A drug charge can take away your freedom for decades and cost you tens of thousands of dollars in fines. You will have trouble finding employment, if convicted, after serving time and should never try to represent yourself in a court of law. Drug crimes are serious and should be dealt with seriously. Don’t put your freedom or rights at stake by working with just any lawyer or attempting to represent yourself.
Contact an Experienced Hamilton Drug Defense Attorney About Your Possession of Cocaine Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug related offense in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. The Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella represents clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Hamilton and throughout New Jersey. Call 609-250-9761 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 2653 Nottingham Way Suite 1 in Hamilton, NJ 08619.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.