When a client contacts my office and tells me they’ve been arrested or charged with a drug offense, the first question I ask them is, “What drug are we talking about?” There’s line drawn in the State of New Jersey between possession or distribution of marijuana and possession or distribution of any other prescription or narcotic drug. They have different penalties. They are sometimes heard in different courts. For instance, mere possession of marijuana under 50 grams is sometimes heard in the municipal court of whatever town you’re arrested in, whereas possession of a very small amount of cocaine or heroin or oxycodone without a prescription is always, at least initially, heard in the county court and charged as a felony.
An attorney experienced in drug cases, sometimes on these felony drug possession cases, can find a loophole or discuss with the prosecutor the small amount of drugs that an individual was arrested with and have those cases moved to a municipal court where the penalties and consequences of that drug possession are much less significant. However, if an individual is charged with distribution or possession with intent to distribute any drug, including marijuana, those cases are almost always heard in the county court where the offense took place. In any event, it’s important to get an experienced attorney involved immediately upon your arrest for a drug case because, as stated before, there are certain avenues that an experienced attorney can take to lessen the potential consequences of any drug charge you may be facing.
Keith Hirschorn, P.C., is an experienced criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of New Jersey. If you have any questions regarding the merits, facts or circumstances of your drug case, call the law office, located in Hoboken, to set up a free initial consultation.