New Jersey Heroin Possession & Distribution Defense Lawyers

There is little doubt that heroin is the drug on the rise in New Jersey. All you have to do is open up your local newspaper and it is patently clear that both heroin possession and distribution of heroin are huge problems in NJ today. The drug is readily accessible for almost anywhere, cheap, and highly addictive. It is no shock therefore that you might be reading this webpage with interest in the law and attorneys in the state on the subject of heroin. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we can honestly say that there are few criminal firms in New Jersey with the wealth of resource for defending a heroin possession or intent to distribute charge in this state. We are a defense practice with over a century under its belt in terms of experience, several former prosecutors, and a history that includes thousands of heroin charges successfully resolved. Reach an experienced heroin defense lawyer at our firm now for an immediate free consultation.

Possession of Heroin Offense

Just like most other drugs, the law that applies when the charge is straight possession of heroin is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. This statute makes it a third degree crime, to possess, use or be under the influence of heroin. You should also know that your exposure to this charge is not limited to when you are found in direct custody of this drug but also extends to instances where you don’t have it on you but know it exists and have the ability to control it. This might be the situation when heroin is hidden in an apartment, in your car, in a backpack or pocket book, etc. While you don’t physically on you, you intend to take ownership and use it. If you are convicted of heroin possession under 2C:35-10, you will have a felony criminal record, face a fine of $35,000 and could be sentenced to as much as 5 years in prison. And make no mistakes about it, prosecutors are extremely aggressive when it comes to heroin prosecutions these days and their targets are not only sellers but heroin users too. Some counties imposed mandatory drug court that can even require first time offenders to undergo inpatient treatment and five (5) years of extremely intense supervision/probation. The potential penalties only escalate from there. Don’t make the huge mistake of walking into court on a possession charge involving heroin without a knowledgeable criminal attorney at your side.

Possession With Intent To Distribute Heroin Charges

If you were arrested for manufacturing, distributing or selling heroin, your charges probably arise out of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. Distribution of heroin charges can also become more complicated when a school zone or public park are involved. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 can result in a third degree, second degree, or first degree crime. The breakdown of the grading and penalties for selling or distributing heroin are as follows:

Degree Of Offense
First Degree
Second Degree
Third Degree
5 Ounces or More
.5-5 Ounces
Less Than .5 Ounces
20 Years
10 Years
5 Years

As you can see from the chart, the consequences of a distribution complaint or indictment can be severe. The situation is only worse if you have a prior convicting for selling drugs on your record or where a higher grade of this offense is in play because then there is mandatory parole ineligibility that attaches. What this means is that you will have to serve a minimum state prison term if you fall under either of these situations. This is what is commonly referred to as a Brimage sentence.

Distribution Of Heroin In A School Zone

When someone sells heroin in a drug free school zone, he/she is subject to another charge under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. This offense applies if you are convicted of distribution within 1,000 feet of property owned or leased by a school or school board that is used for school activities. A conviction for distributing within a school zone carries a separate fine of up to $150,000 and a period of mandatory parole ineligibility that can be as much as one-half of the prison/jail sentence imposed and no less than one-third. It is crucially important to keep in mind that it is not a defense to a school zone offense that you lacked knowledge that you were in a school zone when you were selling the heroin.

Selling Heroin Within 500 Feet Of A Public Park

Similar to a school zone charge, an individual is subject to distribution in a public park/housing project zone if they engage in sales within 500 feet of those type of property. This violation arises out of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 and automatically results in a separate second degree crime notwithstanding the fact that the quantity of heroin involved is less than one half ounce. The fine is up to $150,000 and the jail term is 5-10 years under 2C:35-7.1. In addition, since this offense is extended term eligible the dictates of Brimage and parole ineligibility/mandatory minimum requirements apply to distribution/selling heroin in a public park.

Call A Skilled Heroin Attorney At Our NJ Firm Now

Whether you are faced with an arrest for simple possession of heroin or a complicated distribution case, our attorneys are here to help. With decades of heroin charges triumphantly handled, our firm has the longstanding tract record to provide you with confidence that your case is in good hands. A member of our defense team is ready to discuss the motor vehicle stop, the search of your car/house/apartment, or any other issues involved in your heroin case. We will fight for your rights and challenge the police and prosecutor to insure that your rights are best served and that the outcome is favorable. Call us now for a free consultation.