In Morris County, possession of drug paraphernalia is one of a few enumerated offenses that are barred from plea bargaining. This means that once you are charged with the offense, the court must either convict you of it or dismiss the charge altogether. Prosecutors will not negotiate a more lenient plea without strong justification. For this reason, having an attorney represent you for possession of drug paraphernalia, and any other drug related charges accompanying this charge, is of significant importance. For those of you facing these types of charges, you should be aware that a conviction for most drug paraphernalia possession charges will result in a disorderly persons offense conviction, that will subject a Defendant to up to six (6) months of the Morris County Jail and up to $1,000.00 fine. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Morris County, New Jersey criminal defense firm. Our office has over 100 years of combined experience on staff, including over twenty-five years of prior prosecuting experience. If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug offense like marijuana possession, cocaine distribution, possession of drug paraphernalia, heroin distribution or possession of molly in towns like East Hanover, Madison, Parsippany, Morristown, Denville, Mount Olive, Lincoln Park, Kinnelon or Rockaway, we can help. To set up a free initial consultation, please contact our Morristown Office at 973-309-7050. Our Morris County, NJ criminal defense lawyers are available 24/7 to answer any questions that you may have.
New Jersey Drug Paraphernalia Lawyers: N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2
Whether it is a pipe, bong, syringe or even a scale, law enforcement officers will likely file charges for possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to the possible drug possession charges. Specifically, N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 prohibits the use or possession of instruments and materials typically used to produce or consume a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2. However, mere possession is insufficient to support a conviction. Rather, the State must prove that the defendant used the drug paraphernalia or possessed the drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it for any of the following purposes: “planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical.”
While you may think that simply denying possession is a sufficient defense, courts are permitted to make inferences based on the evidence presented by the prosecutor. This evidence, when taken in conjunction with the surrounding circumstances, may demonstrate possession (whether constructive or actual), even in those instances where you were not physically holding the drug paraphernalia. The courts are permitted to look at various things to determine whether or not the object found on the defendant was intended for drug use.
Can I Receive a Conditional Discharge for Drug Paraphernalia Charges?
Unless there are separate charges involved, the disorderly persons offense for possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons offense that will be handled by the municipal court of the municipality in which the event took place. One of the diversionary programs offered at the municipal court level for drug-related offenses is known as a conditional discharge program. This program will help you avoid any jail sentence or mandatory license suspension involved with a drug paraphernalia conviction. If you believe that you are eligible for a conditional discharge, contact our Morris County Office and speak with an attorney to find out if you eligible and how we can help you enter into the diversionary program.
Parsippany NJ Drug Paraphernalia Attorney
The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Morris County, New Jersey criminal defense firm. Our office has extensive experience in representing Defendant’s charged with various criminal offenses, including but not limited too possession of drug paraphernalia, simple assault, marijuana possession under 50 grams, cocaine distribution, aggravated assault, burglary and theft by deception. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of our eight Morristown, NJ criminal defense attorneys, please contact us directly.