Update: We are fully operational and working remotely amidst COVID-19. Our attorneys are available to provide you with a free consultation 24/7. Call or contact us online today.

Monmouth County Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have been arrested, charged with a criminal offense, or are under investigation, it is crucial that you speak to an experienced Monmouth County Criminal Defense Lawyer about your options.

schedule consultation
or call us now 732.858.6959

Free Initial Consultation 24/7

All Major Credit Cards Accepted

We have successfully defended our clients against thousands of Criminal, DWI, and Municipal Court charges throughout Monmouth County and New Jersey

Avvo Avvo

Understanding Possession With Intent to Distribute CDS Charges in NJ

Intent to Distribute CDS Case Monmouth County NJ best defense

What it Means to be Charged with Possessing a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Sell in New Jersey

Charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with the Intent to Distribute in Monmouth County? If so, here is what you need to know. Unlike distribution or possession cases, where the Defendant is typically caught in the act, possession with intent cases are often built on circumstantial evidence. Meaning, more often than not, there won’t be any direct evidence that will “prove” what the Defendant’s actual intent was with the CDS that they possessed. Therefore, these type of cases will be built entirely on the facts and circumstances surrounding the Defendant’s arrest. This is where an experienced criminal defense lawyer can exploit the weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case. It probably goes without saying but New Jersey as a whole, including Monmouth County, takes drug possession with the intent to distribute and drug distribution cases very seriously. These types of cases tend to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As you will see below, the potential penalties can be crippling to one’s future. If you have been charged with possession of CDS with the intent to distribute in Monmouth County, the Law Office of Proetta, Oliver & Fay can help. Our office serves all of Monmouth County, including towns like Holmdel, Middletown, Freehold, Hazlet, Asbury Park, Manalapan, Long Branch, Wall Township and Ocean Township. To schedule an initial consultation today, please contact our office at 732-858-6959.

About Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS Offenses

All Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute cases will be governed under NJSA 2C:35-5. In order to secure a conviction under NJSA 2C:35-5, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:

  • That the item in question was in fact a Controlled Dangerous Substance;
  • That the Defendant possessed, or had under their control, the Controlled Dangerous Substance;
  • That when the Defendant possessed or controlled the Controlled Dangerous Substance, they had the intent to distribute it; &
  • That the Defendant did so knowingly or purposefully.

To put it into layman terms, the prosecution needs to prove that the Defendant not only possessed the CDS but while possessing it, they had the intent to distribute it to another.

“Intent” means a purpose to do something, a resolution to do a particular act or accomplish a certain thing. Intent is a state of mind, and it is very rare that intent is proven by witnesses who can testify that an accused said he/she had a certain intent when he/she engaged in a particular act. The intention may be gathered from a person’s acts, conduct, from all the person said and did at the particular time and place, and from all of the surrounding circumstances.

This subsection covers all Controlled Dangerous Substances, including but not limited too: Heroin, Cocaine, MDMA, Steroids, Prescription Drugs, Crack Cocaine, Crystal Meth, Ecstasy, LSD and Mushrooms.

Narcotics Investigations leading to Charges for Intent to Sell Drugs in NJ 

These are very fact specific cases and there are countless different factual scenarios that can lead to a Defendant being charged with possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. Here are just a few examples:

  • Law Enforcement is conducting surveillance of the Defendant and observes them engaging in what they believed to be a hand-to-hand transaction but do not actually apprehend the “buyer”;
  • Law Enforcement uses the assistance of an Undercover Officer or Confidential Informant to garner information about the Defendant to obtain a Search Warrant for their residence;
  • Law Enforcement conducts a routine motor vehicle stop that subsequently leads to a search of the vehicle which reveals a quantity of CDS.

Facts and Evidence used when Proving Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Cases

In order to prove that the Defendant possessed the CDS in question with the intent to distribute it the Prosecution could look too:

  • The way the CDS was packaged;
  • The quantity of the CDS possessed;
  • Presence of Drug Paraphernalia {i.e. Baggies or Scales};
  • Cutting materials possessed;
  • Quantity and Denominations of Cash;
  • Possession of Weapons;
  • Officers Observations:
    • Hand-to-Hand Transactions;
    • Frequent Visitors to a Home;
    • Constant Interaction with would be Strangers

As stated above, most of the possession with intent cases will be prosecuted based on circumstantial evidence as opposed to direct evidence. This is where an experienced criminal defense attorney can look to poke holes in the prosecutions case.

All Possession with Intent to Distribute Cases are Classified as Felony Cases in NJ

Regardless of the CDS or the quantity of the CDS in question, all possession of CDS with the intent to distribute cases will be classified as an indictable offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony. The degree of the felony will depend directly upon the quantity of CDS. Here is a quick breakdown of the various degrees and the potential penalties one faces if convicted:

  • First Degree Felony:
    • Quantity of CDS was over 5 Ounces
    • If convicted, the Defendant faces anywhere from 10 to 20 Years in State Prison & $200,000 Fine.
  • Second Degree Felony:
    • Quantity of CDS was over 1/2 Ounce but less than 5 Ounces
    • If convicted, the Defendant faces anywhere from 5 to 10 Years in State Prison & $150,000 Fine.
  • Third Degree Felony:
    • Quantity of CDS was over 5 Ounces
    • If convicted, the Defendant faces anywhere from 10 to 20 Years in State Prison & $35,000 Fine.

If the Defendant is arrested within 500 feet of a Public Housing Complex or within 1000 feet of a School, they could face additional charges as well. For more information on possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a Public Housing Complex or within 1000 feet of a School, please click the corresponding links.

Facing a Possession with Intent to Distribute Case in Monmouth County? Contact Us 

Proetta, Oliver & Fay is a Monmouth County based criminal defense firm that has been defending those accused of various drug offenses, including possession of CDS with the intent to distribute in towns throughout the Jersey Shore for over a decade. Our attorneys are well aware of how crippling a conviction of possession of CDS let alone a possession with the intent to distribute case can be to one’s future. If you have been charged with distributing heroin, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute or manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance in Monmouth County or elsewhere in New Jersey, we can help. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today, please contact our office at 732-858-6959 or you can try contacting us online.

So let’s start discussion of your problem, maybe it’s not so big
or call us now 732.858.6959