Mount Laurel Drug Crimes Lawyer
Seasoned Mount Laurel Drug Crimes Lawyer John B. Brennan Fights for Clients Rights When They Are Facing Drug Charges in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Throughout New Jersey
Being convicted for a drug charge can have an outsized impact on the rest of your life. Law enforcement and prosecutors also vigorously pursue drug crimes, including initiating searches whenever possible and pressuring suspects to make incriminating statements. Although you may think that you can talk your way out of an investigation into drug crimes, more often than not you will end up providing investigators with information they will ultimately use against you. Don’t let a mistake end up causing you to miss out on employment, housing, educational, or financial opportunities. Get an experienced Mount Laurel drug crimes lawyer on your side who will help guide you through the criminal justice process and protect your rights.
With over three decades of experience, including 25 years serving as a prosecutor, I’ve seen criminal cases from both sides of the courtroom. I know how prosecution teams build drug cases, so I know how to build effective defense strategies that can help get your charges reduced or dismissed outright. As a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney and a Member of the New Jersey Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, you can trust that I have the experience to vigorously pursue your defense both outside the courtroom and at trial, if necessary. I recognize the anxiety and stress that come with being under criminal investigation or prosecution can place on you; that’s why I always promptly return your communications to make sure that all your questions are answered and that you are kept up-to-date on the status of your case.
Facing Charges For A Drug Crime And Have Questions? I Can Help, Tell Me What Happened.
Don’t leave your freedom and future to chance. Contact me today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and to get an honest assessment of your case and your options for pursuing a favorable outcome to your drug charges.
Skilled Mount Laurel Drug Crimes Lawyer John B. Brennan Can Help with Any Kind of Drug Charge
Drugs, both legal and illegal, are classified by both state and federal law into five categories, or schedules, based on whether the drug has an accepted medical use and its potential for addiction and abuse:
- Schedule I drugs: Have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse; examples include heroin, ecstasy, and LSD; all Schedule I drugs are illegal to possess
- Schedule II drugs: May have some accepted uses but also a high potential for addiction and abuse, and legal examples must be obtained through prescriptions that have strict record-keeping requirements; examples in this schedule include cocaine, amphetamines, and morphine
- Schedule III drugs: Have a lower potential for abuse and have greater medical uses; examples include hydrocodone, ketamine, and anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV drugs: Low potential for addiction and high medical benefits, but can be harmful if misused: examples include Rohypnol and Valium
- Schedule V drugs: Low risk of abuse or side effects with widely accepted medical uses
Drug charges are often classified into simple possession, or possession of a quantity, of illegal drugs that are considered to be for “personal use”, and possession with intent to distribute, where the quantity or packaging of the drugs indicates the person in possession intended to sell or distribute them. Other drug charges are based on aggravating circumstances, such as possessing drugs on or near school property, simultaneously possessing drugs and firearms, or possessing drugs in a vehicle.
The Law Office of John B. Brennan Will Provide the Dedicated and Tenacious Legal Representation You Need
As soon as you are placed under investigation or arrest for drug crimes, you need aggressive legal representation to give you the best chance at avoiding a conviction and criminal record. Even if you have no prior criminal record, with a drug charge you are likely to face the full effort of the criminal justice system. Prosecutors may try to convict you on a distribution charge for possessing drugs that you had for your personal use. Let an experienced criminal defense attorney such as myself fight to reduce or dismiss your charges so that you can get back your freedom and normal life as soon as possible. With my extensive experience in the criminal justice system, I can also help you explore alternatives to prosecution and conviction, such as admission to drug court, which if you are eligible can help you avoid the long-lasting consequences of a drug crime record.
New Jersey Drug Court
On July 19, 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that expanded New Jersey’s nationally acclaimed Drug Court program. This law authorizes Judges to order drug-addicted, non-violent criminal offenders to participate in court-supervised drug treatment instead of going to jail. For the first time, this law makes it theoretically possible for persons convicted of second degree burglary and second degree robbery (not involving a firearm) to be sentenced to a period of special probation in which they can avoid prison by undergoing supervised treatment.
In the past, offenders were subject to an automatic, categorical exclusion from the treatment–in-lieu of imprisonment program by virtue of their second degree robbery or burglary conviction. It is critical to note, however, that persons who have previously been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for, or who have a pending charge of certain other specified crimes continue to be ineligible for special probation. The list of disqualifying offenses includes any violent crime (murder, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual assault).
This revision to previous law proceeds from the premise that to the extent that the defendant committed such offense as a direct result of addiction, treating that addiction may break the cycle and prevent the defendant from committing similar crimes in the future.
The fact that a defendant may not be categorically ineligible to be sentenced to special probation does not mean that he or she has a right to be admitted to Drug Court. Rather, a person convicted of a non-violent, second-degree robbery or second-degree burglary still has a presumption of imprisonment but also has the right to have the court consider at sentencing the use of Drug Court as a means to avoid the presumption of imprisonment. The decision of whether to admit a defendant to the Drug Court program is by no means guaranteed. Rather, the actual admission decision will account for numerous factors to be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Drug Court team and the Judge. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise whether a defendant may be eligible for this program and advocate for his admission
This statute requires the court to make an affirmative finding on the record that “the present offense was committed while the person was under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or alcohol or was committed to acquire property or monies in order to support the person’s drug or alcohol dependency.” In other words, the treatment-in-lieu-of-imprisonment (Drug Court) sentence can only be used when the court finds on the record that there is a direct link between the addiction and the criminal act.
Contact a Dedicated Mount Laurel Drug Crimes Lawyer Today for a Free, Confidential Consultation to Discuss Your Rights and Options
You may be facing serious consequences in your drug crimes case. Even if your charges only involve a small amount of drugs, a conviction can have lasting consequences that adversely impact your life. Let me defend your legal rights and your freedom and future. Contact my law office to set up a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Mount Laurel drug crimes lawyer and to learn more about how I can help you secure the best possible outcome for your drug charges.
Frequently Asked Questions about Drug Crimes in New Jersey
Yes. The defenses available to you will depend on the facts of your case. It may be possible to challenge the basis of your stop by police — police must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause that some violation of law has occurred or is occurring to stop you. If drugs were found in a warrantless search, it may be possible to argue that police did not have a basis to rely on any of the legal exceptions that authorize a warrantless search. Or if the police had a search warrant, it might be possible to challenge the validity of that warrant. Finally, it may be possible to challenge whether you had possession of the drugs recovered by police.
The grading of a drug crime depends on several factors such as the type of drug involved, the quantity of the drugs, how the drugs are packaged, and the presence of any other aggravating factors such as distribution equipment or weapons. Possession of a small amount of a drug will usually result in a disorderly persons charge, while possession of large quantities of drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine will almost always result in an indictable offense.