Bergen County Drug Crime Attorneys
If you have been arrested and charged with drug offense in Bergen County, New Jersey, you need an equally aggressive defense attorney who can effectively combat charges for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) or drug possession with intent to distribute. State police and local law enforcement officials aggressively prosecute drug crimes in Bergen County and the penalties can be severe. Depending on the type of drugs in your case, whether it be marijuana, cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, or prescription medications, you may be exposed to jail time and a criminal record that derails your future goals. It is important not to take any chances when it comes to your freedom or your future.
The experienced drug defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have an impressive track record of successfully defending clients against drug charges in Paramus, Teaneck, Hackensack, Fort Lee, Palisades Interstate Park, Alpine, Lodi, Ridgefield Park, and throughout Bergen County, New Jersey. We appear in Municipal, Superior, and Federal Courts to zealously defend our clients and deliver the best possible results. Whether you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense for possession of less than 50 grams marijuana or a more serious indictable crime such as heroin distribution, we can assist you in successfully resolving your case. For a free consultation with one of our skilled drug defense lawyers, contact the Hackensack, NJ offices of The Tormey Law Firm at (201)-330-4979. Our attorneys are always on call to provide free consultations.
Drug Charges in Bergen County, New Jersey
Controlled dangerous substances (CDS) are those illegal drugs New Jersey recognizes as highly dangerous and addicting, whether they are natural substances, like marijuana or hashish, or they are synthetic substances, like phencyclidine or LSD, or their analogs. Other legal substances also fall within the category of CDS, like Adderall, Xanax, and Oxycodone, but these become unlawful to possess without a prescription from a licensed health professional authorized to write one.
Schedules of Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)
Depending on its accepted medical uses and potential for abuse, a drug is classified under a particular “Schedule.” The breakdown of Schedules used to classify controlled dangerous substances in New Jersey is as follows:
- Schedule I: Schedule I substances are the most heavily regulated because they have high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in treatment. Schedule I drugs include substances like heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana – but marijuana is expected to be removed from the Schedule I list after recent legalization in NJ.
- Schedule II: a Schedule II drug has some accepted medical uses in treatment. However, since Schedule II substances can lead to psychic or physical dependence, their use in medical treatment is possible only with significant restrictions and limitations. The Schedule II list includes cocaine, OxyContin, Vicodin, and morphine.
- Schedule III: the substances in this category have an accepted medical use in treatment, but they are still not completely safe for the user without at least some regulation because the drugs can result in moderate physical and psychological dependence. The Schedule III list includes ketamine, certain amounts of codeine, and amphetamine.
- Schedule IV: Schedule IV substances have an accepted medical use in treatment and an extremely low potential for abuse, but they are still subject to government regulation because they can lead to limited physical and psychological dependence in the user. The Schedule IV list includes Xanax and Valium.
- Schedule V: often sold over-the-counter, these are regulated because they can cause limited dependence in the user, but these drugs generally have a low potential for abuse. The Schedule V list includes cough syrups with codeine and certain less-serious drugs administered in low doses.
What Degree is Your Drug Offense?
The list of controlled dangerous substance Schedules matters for a criminal defendant because the Schedule of a particular drug may influence the severity of the penalties imposed for a violation of NJ drug laws. In a drug-related criminal case, there are a range of penalties, as determined by the degree of the crimes and depending on the drug allegedly possessed or distributed and the amount. Getting caught possessing CDS may land you in prison for three to five years on a third degree crime. And things get worse when mere possession crosses over into distributing, manufacturing, or operating a premises for drug production.
Charges for drugs are very prevalent in the Bergen County area. Some of the most common drug offenses that our firm defends our clients against include:
- Marijuana charges
- Cocaine charges
- Heroin offenses
- LSD (acid) charges
- Prescription drug charges
- Methamphetamine offenses
- Drug paraphernalia
- CDS in a motor vehicle
- Leader of drug trafficking network
- Loitering or wandering in a drug zone
- Being under the influence of drugs in public
- Failure to turn drugs over to law enforcement
- Obtaining CDS by fraud
- Synthetic marijuana possession
- Distribution of synthetic marijuana
- Maintaining a CDS production facility
- Drug distribution in a school zone
The bottom line is that if you are charged with any drug offense in Bergen County and New Jersey, it is critically important for you to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact our firm now for a free consultation with a lawyer who knows how to defend your case.
Can you be held in jail for a felony drug charge in New Jersey?
Many times, drug charges result from motor vehicle stops that do not initially involve drugs at all. After the officer stops the driver, he approaches the car and asks some questions. Detecting the smell of marijuana is frequently used to conduct vehicle searches that reveal substances, whether it be marijuana that is found or something else. In his report, it will be noted that the officer smells marijuana. Whether you say admit to having marijuana or not, an officer with probable cause will nonetheless search the car and the occupants. Do not be fooled into thinking that telling the police you are the one with the weed will eliminate the need to continue the search of the car. Instead, the admission of the disorderly persons offense can be used to justify a search of the car, its contents, and everyone inside. On countless occasions, we have seen the subsequent search result in charges for felony possession of controlled dangerous substances. If any of the felony level substances are found in your car, on you, on a passenger who denies ownership, or even in the belongings of another, you could be charged and placed in the Bergen County Jail until the court and prosecutor decide whether you should be released. In fact, you are not entitled to monetary bail and in some circumstances, will have to wait until a detention hearing to find out whether the judge has any plans to release you at all. If you or someone you love is currently held in jail in Hackensack and you need a lawyer for an upcoming bail hearing, contact us right away for the help you need pursuing your release.
Defending a Drug Case in Bergen County
In order to effectively combat your drug charges, our attorneys will review every aspect of your arrest to identify any potential violations of your rights. For example, in instances in which authorities confiscated drugs after an illegal stop or during an illegal search of the vehicle or premises, we can often achieve the dismissal of the charges due to our in-depth knowledge of police procedure and search warrant requirements under State law.
We have also helped countless clients to resolve their cases through diversionary programs, such as Conditional Discharge, Drug Court and Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). Drug Court allow individuals to agree to reduced charges and avoid jail time by successfully completing drug rehabilitation. Pre-Trial Intervention allows you to avoid a criminal record by complying with program requirements during a probationary period. In order to understand and take advantage of all of your available options, it is essential to hire a lawyer who is familiar with these diversionary programs.
Most importantly, consult with us before you speak with police, or if you have been arrested with any type of drug, it is important to immediately consult with an experienced drug defense attorney before submitting to questioning. A common mistake is saying too much to police under the mistaken impression that doing so will help you. In truth, you are only strengthening the case against you. Your first call should be to an experienced drug defense lawyer.
Local Hackensack NJ Lawyers for clients Charged with Drugs
If you are facing drug charges in Bergen County, please contact our law firm anytime at (201)-330-4979 or use our online contact form to speak with an attorney who can help. One of our drug defense lawyers will be happy to discuss your case over the phone or to schedule an appointment to meet with you in person at our office in Hackensack. Do not let a drug crime conviction ruin your life. Be proactive and get out in front of the charges before it’s too late.
Additional Information & Resources about Drug Crimes
You can learn more about New Jersey drug laws and penalties for drug charges by accessing the links below.