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Overview of drug charges you might face

While many people around the country focus on the decriminalization of marijuana and the severity of heroin overdoses these days, there are some points about drug charges that many people don't think about. Possession charges are only one of the possibilities that a person can face.

Understanding the various types of drug charges that are possible might help as you work on your defense. In some cases, the charge you are facing will have an impact on possible pretrial diversion programs that are available. For example, you likely wouldn't go to drug court for a trafficking charge, but drug court might be possible for a first time possession charge.

Selling or dealing

Selling drugs, or dealing, is often reserved for people who have more than the amount of drugs that would be useful for personal use but not enough to be considered enough for trafficking. These charges can result in time in prison. It is possible that you could face enhancements for the charges if you allegedly sold the drugs to a minor or near a school zone. This could mean that you face charges that are steeper than normal.

Manufacturing or cultivating and delivery

Manufacturing means that you are accused of making the drugs, such as methamphetamine. Cultivating means that you are accused of growing drugs, such as marijuana plants. Delivery means that you have taken the drugs you manufactured or cultivated to another person.

Trafficking

Drug trafficking means that you are accused of transporting larger amounts of drugs. This could be within the state, but it might also involve you bringing drugs in from another state or trying to transport the drugs out of New Jersey. Drug trafficking charges are serious indictable offenses that must be taken seriously as well, since they are associated with time in prison and fines.

Possession

Drug possession charges are associated with smaller amounts of drugs that would be only enough for personal use. This might be a charge that can result in drug court or other pretrial diversion programs. Often, a drug possession charge signals a need for rehabilitation because addiction might be the reason behind the possession charge.

Paraphernalia

The possession of drug paraphernalia is another charge you might face. This means that you have items in your possession that could be used to use, sell, distribute, manufacture or cultivate drugs. Some of these items are normal household items, such as digital scales, so the surrounding circumstances come into the picture.

For example, if you have a digital scale in the kitchen next to your diet cookbook and no sign of drugs in the home, the scale might not be deemed paraphernalia. If you have that same scale on the living room table surrounded by razor blades and small baggies, it might be considered paraphernalia along with the razor blades and baggies.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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