Facing a Heroin Charge?
Heroin has become an epidemic in the State of New Jersey, compelled in part by the frequent dispensation of highly addictive prescription medication such as Oxycodone. In addition, heroin overdoses have spiked, as fentanyl-laced heroin claims thousands of lives. Due to the ongoing problem of heroin in New Jersey, law enforcement officials have implemented a harsh and extensive crack-down on heroin offenders, whether these individuals are simply in possession of a small amount of heroin or are maintaining a heroin production facility. Regardless of the specific offense for which you have been charged, all crimes involving heroin are indictable felonies, meaning they are adjudicated in the county in which the alleged offense occurred and can lead to significant terms of incarceration, among other penalties.
Heroin Possession in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10
Under the New Jersey Law, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, possessing any quantity of heroin is illegal and is considered a third-degree indictable felony. These offenses entail punishments including 3 to 5 years in prison, a maximum fine of $35,000, and a 6-month period of driver’s license suspension.
However, third degree crimes entail a presumption of non-incarceration, meaning that first-time offenders may be considered good candidates for probation or a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). Upon enrollment in PTI, a defendant’s charges are suspended and ultimately dismissed if the defendant successfully completes program requirements during the probationary period.
Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing Heroin in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, the possession of heroin with intent to distribute is illegal in New Jersey. Heroin distribution offenses are even more serious than possession offenses, with the grading of these charges contingent upon the amount, specifically, the measured weight of the substance associated with the alleged offense. The range of charges and associated penalties for heroin distribution are outlined below:
- First Degree Heroin Distribution: involves 5 or more ounces of heroin, including any adulterants or dilutants; punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a maximum fine of $500,000
- Second Degree Heroin Distribution: involves heroin in an amount ranging from 1/2 an ounce to 5 ounces; punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and entails a presumption of incarceration
- Third Degree Heroin Distribution: involves heroin in a quantity less than 1/2 an ounce, punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison, as well as a maximum fine of $75,000, and entails a presumption of non-incarceration
Charges for Heroin Possession or Distribution in NJ?
Clearly, a drug offense charge for heroin possession or distribution can spell catastrophic consequences. Protect yourself and your interests by consulting with experienced criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices are available immediately – Contact them today for a cost-free case evaluation.