CDS in a Motor Vehicle Charges
A traffic stop can result in multiple charges if an officer discovers drugs in your vehicle. For example, if a police officer discovers marijuana in the glove compartment of your car, you may be charged with a criminal offense for possession of marijuana, as well as issued a summons for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle. The second of these charges is a motor vehicle offense and entails a mandatory period of driver’s license suspension that extends for 2 years, to be imposed in addition to any other consequences associated with other charges.
Forfeiting your right to operate a vehicle for two years can have catastrophic consequences for your employment situation and family life, not to mention hindering your ability to conduct your daily activities. As a result, it is critical to confront these charges with a well-formulated defense strategy. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to have this charge dismissed. In other cases, a thorough evaluation of the circumstances of the search may reveal a violation of your constitutional rights which can also lead to a dismissal.
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) in a Motor Vehicle: N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in a motor vehicle is addressed in section N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1, entitled “Drug possession by motor vehicle operator,” which reads:
No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any highway while knowingly having in his possession or in the motor vehicle any controlled dangerous substance as classified in Schedules I, II, III, IV and V of the “New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act,” P.L. 1970, c. 226 or any prescription legend drug, unless the person has obtained the substance or drug from, or on a valid written prescription of, a duly licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other medical practitioner licensed to write prescriptions intended for the treatment or prevention of disease in man or animals or unless the person possesses a controlled dangerous substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner or lawfully possesses a Schedule V substance.
Facing Charges for Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle in NJ?
If you are found guilty of the violation outlined above, you are exposed to multiple penalties, including:
- A fine of at least $50.00
- A mandatory 2-year period of driver’s license suspension
- Penalties included in drug charges
With these and other consequences hanging over your head, being proactive is the best approach. Contact a criminal defense lawyer at Breslow Law Offices to begin devising your most effective defense.