Impaired driving aside, being arrested for a drug possession charge is nothing to take lightly. Having marijuana, cocaine, meth, or any other type of narcotic or habit producing substance in one’s possession can lead to bad results. As Garden State criminal lawyers and drunken driving defense attorneys, we often see situations where a simple traffic offense may lead to a worse outcome.
The reality these days is how easily a case of simple drug possession in a motor vehicle, or even possession with intent to distribute can become a much more complicated situation with serious criminal penalties attached. As criminal defense attorneys, we understand how charges for cocaine, weed or other illegal substance has the potential to become bring with it enhanced penalty exposure, including jail time.
Taking into effect the numerous factors associated with cocaine possession, for instance, law enforcement agencies in the Garden State have been rather aggressive in pursuing and arresting individuals believed to be involved in this type of drug. New Jersey’s Drug Court was instituted to help those people who have an addiction problem, as opposed to those who may be in the drug “business.” In any case, being stopped on the roadside with illegal drugs in one’s possession is not desirable under any circumstances.
With potential fines for cocaine possession upward of $35,000, the incentive to avoid a conviction is no doubt strong. Even simple possession of cocaine is typically a third-degree offense, which can carry with it a maximum of five years in jail. As experienced criminal attorneys, the lawyers at the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall know that incarceration on a first offense is not always a foregone conclusion. Still this is nothing to take lightly, even if the arrest came as a result of a minor traffic offense.
We ran across one such example of a drug-involved traffic stop earlier this summer when we read of a Toms River man who was allegedly observed sleeping in his truck along a stretch of Rte 9 in Ocean County, NJ. After Toms River police officers investigated the situation around 10am, they reportedly arrested the man for DWI, but also charged the driver with a range of drug-related offenses.
According to news articles, the officers observed that three marijuana plants that were apparently sitting on the vehicle’s passenger seat in plain sight. Upon further investigation, police allegedly found evidence of drunk driving, possession of drugs, possession of burglary paraphernalia, as well as stolen property. Authorities stated that the driver had on his person keys, credit cards, and other apparently stolen items that were presumed to have been taken from unlocked vehicles along a stretch of Huddy Drive in Ocean County.
The driver was taken into custody following the traffic stop and was subsequently held in Ocean County Jail on $50,000 bail and no 10-percent option. In addition to the DWI and drug charges, the driver was looking at additional criminal offenses of fraudulent use of a credit card as well as credit card theft, according to the Ocean County corrections department.
Drug and Fraud Charges for Toms River Man Spotted Sleeping in Truck, Patch.com, June 11, 2013