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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.

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Drug Distribution in a Park Zone

Monmouth County Heroin Distribution in Park Zone Attorney

New Jersey’s war on drugs has been going on for years with no end in site. Monmouth County is right in the middle of that war. The county as whole is well known for being tough on crime in general but they are extremely tough when it comes to dealing drugs. The tend to prosecute these types of offense to the fullest extent of the law. In fact, separate legislation was created in order to increase the penalties for anyone alleged to have distributed drugs within a specific area. Those areas include a park, public housing and a school to name a few. For example, if a Defendant is accused of distributing drugs in Asbury Park, New Jersey and they are within 500 feet of a park, they will be charged with not only distributing drugs in violation of NJSA 2C:35-5 but distributing drugs within 500 feet of a park in violation of NJSA 2C:35-7.1. So, simply because they are within 500 feet of a public park they will be facing additional charges. Those additional charges are typically going to be second degree felony offenses. If you have been accused of distributing cocaine within 500 feet of  a public park or possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing complex in Monmouth County, the Law Office of Proetta & Oliver can help.

The Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers at Proetta & Oliver have been representing clients accused of distributing drugs in towns throughout the County for years now. Our attorneys are well versed when it comes to defending those accused of drug crimes in New Jersey. Our office is well aware that no two drug cases let alone no two clients are the same. As such, we make sure that we can formulate a defense that works best to suit our clients needs. Whether that be having a trial, filing a motion to suppress or working out a favorable plea deal. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Howell, Holmdel, Middletown, Hazlet, Belmar, Freehold, Tinton Falls, Asbury Park, Long Branch, West Long Branch and Ocean Township. Our attorneys are available immediately to help assist in anyway possible. For a free initial consultation please contact our office at (732)858-6959. Our office is located at 18 Kings Highway, directly across the street from the Middletown Municipal Court. Now here is some key information on distributing drugs in a park zone.

Asbury Park NJ Drug Distribution in Park Zone Lawyer

As stated above, anyone alleged to have distribute drugs within 500 feet of a public housing facility, a public building or a park will be charged with a violation of NJSA 2C:35-7.1. The legislature in essence has chosen to try and protect the previous mentioned areas by increasing the penalties for anyone alleged to have distributed drugs within them. Interestingly enough, they have chosen to increase the penalties for those specific areas more than to do for anyone alleged to have distribute drugs within 1000 feet of a school. Although there are separate charge for that offense too, the potential penalties are less severe than that of those alleged to have distributed within a park zone. NJSA 2C:35-7.1 in pertinent part states that, “any person who distributes a controlled dangerous substance while in, on or within 500 feet of the real property comprising a Public Housing Facility, Public Park, or a Public Building is guilty of a crime.” In order to be convicted under this statute, the state must prove the following elements:

  • The item in question was a controlled dangerous substance;
  • That the Defendant distributed the controlled dangerous substance;
  • That the Defendant acted knowingly or purposely when they distributed the controlled dangerous substance; &
  • The distribution occurred within 500 feet of any:
    • Public Housing Facility; or
    • Public Park; or
    • Public Building.

What is a Public Housing Facility?

Provided anyone of the following are owned or leased to a local housing authority for the purpose of providing living accommodations to persons of lower income with qualify as a public housing facility:

  • Dwelling,
  • Complex of Dwellings,
  • Structure

What is a Public Park?

To be considered a public park the park, recreational facility or playground must be owned or at least controlled by the State, county or local township.

What is a Public Building?

To be considered a public building building the building must be   publicly owned or leased library or museum.

Can I avoid Jail on a Public Park Distribution Charge in NJ?

As touched upon earlier, anyone charged with distributing drugs within a park zone will be facing enhanced penalties. Unlike all other drug distribution offenses, the quantity of the drug seized will not dictate the degree of the charge unless the drug is marijuana. Regardless of the quantity, anyone alleged to have distributed heroin, cocaine, LSD, Oxycontin, Molly, Ecstasy or Mushrooms with 500 feet of a public park will be facing a second degree felony. A second degree felony is punishable by anywhere from five to ten years in prison, a fine up to $150,000, a felony drug distribution conviction and a loss of license. However, if the drug in question is marijuana and it was less than one ounce, the Defendant will be charged with a third degree felony as opposed to a second degree.

So, what would otherwise been a third or fourth degree felony drug distribution charge will be elevated to a second degree drug distribution charge just based on the location of the transaction. Of greater importance, it is irrelevant that the Defendant was actually unaware that they were in a park  zone at the time of the offense. To speak with one of our attorneys today about your options please contact us directly at (732)858-6959.

Long Branch NJ Park Zone Distribution Attorneys

Distributing drugs within 500 feet of a public housing project is a serious charge in New Jersey. One that should be handled by an experienced New Jersey drug distribution defense lawyer. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with distributing drugs in Monmouth County in towns like Manalapan, Marlboro, Asbury Park, Freehold Township, Englishtown, Ocean Township, Long Branch or Belmar, the criminal defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys will aggressively attack the evidence presented against you in order to obtain a favorable outcome. For a free consultation today with one of our attorneys please contact us at (732)858-6959.

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