Drug Paraphernalia Possession Lawyer Robbinsville, NJ
New Jersey Drug Crime Lawyer Protects the Rights of Clients Charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Mercer County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Burlington County, NJ
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a an offense in New Jersey that can be punished by monetary fines, jail time, loss of driver’s license, and community service, in the same manner as any other criminal offense. While many clients may not even realize that possession of drug paraphernalia can result in arrest, it is a crime that the prosecution may attempt to use to escalate the eventual charge into a drug possession case. The prosecution often brings drug paraphernalia possession charges in conjunction with another drug crime charge, such as marijuana possession, to potentially increase the severity of the accused individual’s punishment.
At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I am a Robbinsville drug paraphernalia possession lawyer who has successfully defended hundreds of cases. I always attempt to think outside the box in order to provide the prosecution and courts with an alternative to conviction, if possible. My time spent working as a legal intern with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office provided insight into the strategies often employed by the prosecution in these types of cases—an advantage that I put to work in formulating a smart and strong defense for each of my clients in their drug paraphernalia cases.
What Is Drug Paraphernalia in New Jersey?
N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 defines “drug paraphernalia” in extremely broad terms. Drug paraphernalia can encompass a wide variety of items, but it typically includes items that are used to make, grow, prepare, test, or use drugs. Common examples of drug paraphernalia include:
- Bongs or pipes.
- Scales and balances used to measure drugs.
- Cocaine spoons and vials, as well as roach clips used to hold burning drugs.
Equipment used in a crystal meth lab.
- Plastic baggies that are used to store drugs.
- Devices used to crush marijuana.
Many clients may not even realize that possession of these types of items can form the basis for an arrest, even if the individual is not actually using drugs at the time and is not in possession of drugs at the time of arrest. In order to determine whether a possession of drug paraphernalia charge is appropriate, the police and courts will analyze whether the item contained any drug residue, any uses for the item that are not drug related, and any information provided by the defendant and any witnesses.
Potential Defenses to Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charges in West Windsor, NJ
Possession of drug paraphernalia in Robbinsville, Hamilton, or anywhere else in New Jersey is a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 and can carry penalties of up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, in addition to scarring the convicted individual’s criminal record with a drug conviction. If convicted, the individual can also lose his or her driver’s license for up to two years. For first offenders, I will explore the value of obtaining pre-trial intervention (PTI) or conditional discharge. PTI may be available to certain first offenders if the court approves supervised rehabilitation as an alternative to conviction. Conditional discharge can also allow the client to escape jail time by serving a probationary period while remaining drug-free and arrest-free.
If the client already has a criminal record, or if the court denies PTI and conditional discharge, I will carefully evaluate all of the prosecution’s evidence, including any witness statements or lab results, to obtain the best possible results for my client in their possession of drug paraphernalia case. Potential defenses to possession of drug paraphernalia in New Jersey may include:
- General innocence, meaning that the item found was not actually used in connection with drugs.
- Constitutional violations, including the illegal search of the area in which the item was found.
- Improper Miranda warnings or inappropriate interrogation techniques that were used upon arrest.
- The law enforcement officers lacked probable cause.
Contact Hamilton Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren Scardella to Explore Your Options After Arrest for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in New Jersey
At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I provide all of my clients with a free initial consultation, during which we will discuss the charges and the potential options for defending against those charges. I am available to defend possession of drug paraphernalia cases on a statewide basis, including in Robbinsville, Trenton, Princeton, North Brunswick, and everywhere else in New Jersey. Call my office today at 609-587-1144 to schedule an appointment, or fill out this online form. Our office is located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
Frequently Asked Questions About NJ Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Can jail time be imposed for first offenders on a possession of drug paraphernalia charge?
Yes. Despite the fact that it may be your first offense of any kind, the law gives courts the authority to impose jail time for possession of drug paraphernalia. However, judges do tend to be more lenient in the case of first offenders if there is no overriding reason for imposing jail time. A skilled NJ criminal defense attorney can strongly argue against jail time if you are a first offender, and they should present the court with several alternative punishments that could even result in the charges being dropped.
If I have a criminal record in another state, but have never been charged with a crime in New Jersey, do I qualify as a first offender for a drug paraphernalia possession charge?
No. A criminal record from another state carries over into the court’s determination of whether an accused individual is a first offender who is eligible for PTI and/or conditional discharge. New Jersey law enforcement can access your criminal record in any other state.