Passaic County NJ Juvenile Drug Distribution Lawyer
Drug Charges Defense Attorney for Juveniles and Students in Totowa and Throughout New Jersey
We see it on the news everyday: commentators, media outlets, organizations, and community activists talk about the “drug epidemic” that has taken hold of America’s youth. With the rampant use of heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and prescription drugs like Xanax, Percocet, and Oxycontin, lawmakers have enacted extensive laws on drug possession and distribution in an effort to crack-down on drug offenders and curtail drug use. While marijuana possession and distribution of marijuana are bound by very specific provisions under New Jersey law, the degree of drug distribution charges are generally determined by the specific substance associated with the alleged offense and the amount of the substance involved. Notably, drug distribution charges for juveniles, students, and young adults in New Jersey encompass the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, transfer, or possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent to distribute. As you might expect, judges in juvenile and adult criminal courts take drug offenses extremely seriously. Thus, it is absolutely critical to have an experienced New Jersey drug charges defense attorney protecting your rights and your innocence.
Alissa Hascup is a seasoned NJ criminal defense attorney who zealously represents juveniles, college students, and young adults charged with drug distribution and other criminal offenses in New Jersey. With offices in Morris County and Passaic County, she regularly defends college students from universities like Rutgers, Fairleigh Dickinson, Ramapo, and Seton Hall, as well as high school students and other young adults. During her career as an Assistant County Prosecutor, Ms. Hascup prosecuted massive drug distribution cases, including one that involved over 350 pounds of marijuana. Now, she utilizes her experience prosecuting drug distribution cases to develop the best possible defenses for her clients. Whether you are charged with drug distribution in Newark, Paterson, Montclair, Parsippany, or elsewhere in New Jersey, you need a knowledgeable advocate who will fight for you. To discuss your case with Ms. Hascup today, contact her offices at 862-257-1200 for a cost-free initial consultation.
Juvenile and Student Drug Distribution Charges in New Jersey
According to section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess or have under your control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) or controlled substance analog. As mentioned above, these charges vary based on the specific substance involved and the amount of said substance. The guidelines with respect to NJ drug distribution charges are as follows:
- Heroin, cocaine, MDMA or Methamphetamine in a quantity of 5 ounces ore more: first degree crime
- Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, or Methamphetamine in a quantity of 1/2 ounce or more but less than 5 ounces: second degree crime
- Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, or Methamphetamine in a quantity less than 1/2 ounce: third degree crime
- Any other drug classified as a Schedule I or II controlled dangerous substance in a quantity of 1 ounce or more: second degree crime
- Any other drug classified as a Schedule I or II controlled dangerous substance in a quantity of less than 1 ounce: third degree crime
- Any Schedule III, IV, or V substance: varied based on the specific substance
- Marijuana (see marijuana distribution page)
What Happens if You are a Juvenile Charged with Drug Distribution in NJ
If you are a juvenile charged with drug distribution in New Jersey, your case will be adjudicated in the New Jersey Juvenile Justice System, which is governed by its own rules and procedures. First and foremost, your case will be heard and decided by a single Juvenile Court Judge in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county where you live. All juveniles must be represented by an attorney when facing juvenile charges in juvenile court. In order for a minor to be charged and convicted of a criminal offense, he or she must be adjudicated delinquent. If you are a juvenile who is adjudicated delinquent of drug distribution, the judge must consider the best interests of the child” when determining the appropriate sentence. This means that judges evaluate a variety of factors including: the nature and circumstances of the offense; your age, previous record, and social services received; your unique needs; and the likelihood that you will respond well to rehabilitative measures.
As mentioned previously, drug distribution charges can range from first degree to fourth degree crimes, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. For juveniles in New Jersey, a fourth degree crime has a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders. For those who have been adjudicated delinquent for a previous offense, they face up to 1 year in juvenile detention. A third degree crime may result in up to 2 years of detention; a second degree crime is punishable by up to 3 years of detention; and a first degree crime entails up to 4 years in a detention center. Notably, there are a variety of alternative options that may be imposed during juvenile sentencing, such as: mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, probation, community service, work or educational programs, restitution payments, and/or driver’s license suspension. An experienced juvenile defense lawyer can work to secure the best possible outcome.
NJ Drug Distribution Charges for College Students and Young Adults
If you are 18 or older and charged with drug distribution or possession of CDS with intent to distribute in New Jersey, you are legally an adult and will be subject to the adult criminal justice process. So, your case will be heard and decided in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court in the county where the alleged offense occurred. For example, if you were charged with drug distribution at Montclair State University in Little Falls, you will be required to appear in Passaic County Superior Court. The potential penalties for an adult charged with drug distribution are as follows:
- First degree drug distribution: 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $500,000
- Second degree drug distribution: 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000
- Third degree drug distribution: 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $75,000
- Fourth degree drug distribution: up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $25,000
Contact Denville NJ Underage Drug Distribution Lawyer for Answers
If you are a juvenile, college student, or other young adult charged with drug distribution in New Jersey, your future is on the line and you simply cannot afford to risk it. Contact Alissa Hascup to discuss your case and learn about her highly effective approach to defending her clients. With offices conveniently located in Totowa and Denville, Ms Hascup fights for clients in courts from Passaic County to Bergen County, and Middlesex County to Monmouth County. Simply call 862-257-1200 today for your free consultation.