Union County NJ Criminal Lawyers

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Drug Paraphernalia

Clark NJ Drug Paraphernalia Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, there are a few things you probably want to know. The offense you are facing is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 of the NJ Criminal Code. This law makes it illegal for an individual to “use or possess with the intention to use” drug paraphernalia such as a pipe, scale, grinder, etc.. An entirely separate statute applies with specific to possession of a syringe or hypodermic needle. Guilty finding to any form of paraphernalia charge results in a criminal record that can follow you around for years, if not forever, and even jail. Since this is also considered a drug related offense under the law, the mandatory 6-24 month drivers license suspension applies if you are convicted of violating 2C:36-2. The honest truth is, however, that our lawyers are usually able to avoid these penalties in the paraphernalia cases we handle. We are former prosecutors with years of experience and contacts, and can likely achieve similar results for you in Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Clark or whatever other municipality in Union County where you were arrested. Call us at 908-272-1700 to speak to an attorney immediately or to schedule an appointment in at Cranford Criminal Law Firm.

What Does The Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Law Say?

N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 provides that:

 It shall be unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical in violation of the provisions of chapter 35 of this title. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

You will note that this law makes no reference to specific items that are considered drug paraphernalia. That information is contained in N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1.

What Constitutes Drug Paraphernalia?

N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 sets forth not only a list of items that qualify as “drug paraphernalia” but also provides factors for determining whether something is being used in conjunction with drugs or CDS in violation of 2C:36-2. In this regard, the statute provides that the following constitute drug paraphernalia:

any equipment, items, products, or materials of any kind that are used, or intended to be used, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growin, harvesting, manufacturing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, analog, or toxic chemical in violation of the New Jersey criminal drug statutes.

      .     .     .    .

planting kits for plants that qualify as a CDS, kits used to create substance analogs, testing equipment used for identifying the strength and efficacy of CDS’s, scales and balances used to measure CDSs, dilutants or adulterants used to augment CDS quantities, blenders used to compound CDSs and adulterants, capsules balloons and envelopes used to package small quantities of CDS, containers used to store or hide quantities of CDS, and objects used for ingesting, inhaling or introducing marijuana, cocaine, hash, nitrous oxide, or other toxic chemicals into the human body.  The latter category, objects used to introduce substances into the body, include assorted pipes, water pipes, tubes with carbs, smoking masks, roach clips, cocaine vials or spoons, and vaporization devices.

As previously stated, the law sets forth factors that the police, court, etc., are to consider in determining whether something is illegal paraphernalia including: (1) statements by the owner, (2) proximity to illegal substances, (3) existence of drug residue, (4) instructions provided with product, (5) materials accompanying item depicting illicit uses, (6) national understanding of illicit purpose, and (7) potential legitimate uses of the object.

Grading of Paraphernalia Charges. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons offense. And this violation applies whether you were actually using unlawfully in conjunction with drugs or item was possessed with the intent to use it in this manner. Distribution of drug paraphernalia is more serious and involves a Fourth Degree Crime, which is a felony that can only be decided at the Union County Superior Court, Elizabeth NJ. Providing paraphernalia to a minor (i.e. someone under 18 years of age) is even more serious offense since it constitutes a Third Degree Crime.

Penalties. A conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia carries maximum potential penalties that include up to 6 months in the County Jail, over one thousand dollars in fines and court assessments, probation, community service, and a mandatory drivers license suspension that can reach 2 years.

Cranford Paraphernalia Possession Defense Attorney

If you or your loved one (e.g. child) was arrested and/or charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it is in your best interests to give us a call. While the law, especially the penalties that apply to a paraphernalia offense, may seem black and white, this really isn’t the case when it comes to the cases in which we are involved. The reality is that, for any number of reasons,, our attorneys are able to avoid a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia and/or many of the penalties, in a high percentage of cases. And when we make this representation, we are not referring to outcomes where someone received a Conditional Discharge but rather outcomes did not involve use of a diversion program. Call us at 908-272-1700 to find out how we can help you.

Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 123 North Union Avenue, Cranford, NJ 07018, defends drug paraphernalia charges in Cranford Municipal Court, Union Township Municipal Court, Westfield Municipal Court, Summit Municipal Court, Clark Municipal Court, Berkely Heights Municipal Court and elsewhere in Union County NJ.


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