New Jersey laws regarding cocaine can be severe, depending on the circumstance. Someone intending to traffic large amounts of cocaine in the Garden State may face a lengthy prison sentence if arrested and convicted. A suspect caught with a small amount for personal use may face less serious charges and penalties, but the person could look at jail time and a permanent criminal record after a conviction.
Cocaine charges in New Jersey
People must understand that cocaine possession in New Jersey is a felony. So, a suspect in possession of cocaine faces a crime of the third degree, a felony. Those charged with selling cocaine would face a third-degree charge when the amount is .5 ounces or less. However, the fine for selling is substantially higher than the dollar amount for mere possession.
The more cocaine someone intends to sell, the more severe the potential penalties become. Selling a small amount could come with a three to five-year sentence, while selling 5or more ounces may result in a 10 to 20-year prison sentence.
Going to court over cocaine charges
The particulars of a suspect’s case often determine the defense of cocaine-related drug charges. A non-violent first offender caught with a small amount of their person might face a treatment diversion program. Repeat offenders might find the court proves less forgiving, and defendants may need to plea bargain for reduced charges.
Each drug case has its unique elements that impact the defense. Sometimes a person could face possession charges when they did not know about the drugs nor maintain any control over them. Such charges could be weak. In some situations, illegal searches or stops without probable cause may affect the prosecution’s case.