Drug Distribution

New Jersey Drug Distribution Possession Attorney

Have you been charged with Drug Trafficking, Drug Distribution, Possession of Drugs with Intent to sell, Manufacturing or any other offense involving the sale of drugs?

Contact Anthony Palumbo for a free case evaluation today at 866-664-8118

These are very serious charges that can put you behind bars for more than twenty years and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Offenses this serious can cause a lot of anxiety about your future. Will I go to jail? If so, who will support my kids when I am there? And how will I ever pay these enormous fines? In times like these, you need more than a defense attorney. You need someone who knows both sides of the law.

Union County Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer

My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, of the firm The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud, and not only do I have over 35 years of criminal trial experience, but I am also a former prosecutor. Contact me today for a free initial consultation, and let me guide you through this difficult time. I will represent your interests aggressively and make sure you receive the lightest punishment possible given the circumstances of your case.

New Jersey Drug Distribution Defense Lawyer

Our firm defends individuals accused of offenses throughout New Jersey and Union county including the towns of Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Linden, Rahway, Clark, Roselle, Roselle park, Springfield, Kenilworth, Union, and Scotch Plains. While this page is in no way a replacement to the valuable role a lawyer can play in resolving your case, it may provide answers to your immediate questions through an overview of the various drug penalties, situations involving enhanced penalties, and defenses to drug charges.

Understanding the Penalties for Selling Drugs

If you are convicted of Drug Trafficking, Drug Distribution, Possession of Drugs with Intent to sell, Manufacturing or any other offense involving the sale of drugs, the penalties depend on: (1) the type of drug; and (2) the amount involved. The following information is a general breakdown of the penalties for those offenses divided by drug type and quantity.

Different Degrees Carry Different Penalties:

1 st degree sentence = 10-20 years in prison

2 nd degree sentence = 5-10 years in prison

3 rd degree sentence = 3-5 years in prison

Cocaine, Heroine, or Ecstasy:

  • For 5 ounces or more:
  • 1 st degree offense and up to $500,000 in fines
  • For under 5 grams but more than ½ of an ounce:
  • 2 nd degree offense
  • For less than ½ of an ounce:
  • 3 rd degree offense and up to $75,000 in fines

LSD (acid), PCP (angel dust):

  • For 100 milligrams or more of LSD or 10 or more grams of PCP:
  • 1 st degree offense and up to $500,000 in fines
  • For less than 100 milligrams of LSD or less than 10 grams of PCP:
  • 2 nd degree offense

Methamphetamine or P2P:

  • For 5 ounces or more:
  • 1 st degree offense and up to $300,000 in fines
  • For ½ ounce or more, but less than 5 ounces:
  • 2 nd degree offense
  • For less than ½ ounce:
  • 3 rd degree offense and up to $75,000 in fines

Marijuana and Hashish:

  • For 25 pounds or more of marijuana, or 50 or more marijuana plants, or 5 or more pounds of Hashish:
  • 1 st degree offense and up to $300,000 in fines
  • For 5 or more pounds of marijuana, but less than 25 pounds of marijuana, or between 10 and 49 marijuana plants, or between 1 and 5 pounds of hashish:
  • 2 nd degree offense
  • For 1 ounce or more of marijuana, but less than 5 pounds of marijuana, or 5 grams or more of Hashish, but less than 1 pound of Hashish:
  • 3 rd degree offense and up to $25,000 in fines
  • For less than 1 ounce marijuana, or less than 5 grams of Hashish:
  • 4 th degree offense

Methadone, Mescaline, Peyote, Opium, DMT, Magic Mushrooms, Amphetamines (Ritalin)

  • For 1 ounce or more:
  • 2 nd degree offense
  • For less than 1 ounce:
  • 3 rd degree offense and up to $75,000 fine

It is important to note that even if any of the drugs above are adulterated or diluted, it will not change the amount for purposes of the penalties. For Example: If you have 5 ounces of white powder in a bag, but really the powder is 4 ounces of pure cocaine mixed with 1 of the ounce of baking soda, you will still be subject to a 1 st degree offense just as if you had 5 ounces of pure cocaine.

For more information on drug penalties, see N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-2 through N.J.S.A. 2C: 53-10 which encompasses all of the New Jersey statutory laws for drug charges in New Jersey.

Will Certain Conduct Increase My Penalties?

If you commit the crime within 1,000 feet of a school zone:

When the drug involved is marijuana, and the amount is less than 1 ounce then you may be charged with an additional penalty of up to a $150,000 fine and 1 year in prison without parole. For any other drug or quantity, the additional penalty is at least 3 years in prison and up to a $150,000 fine.

If you commit the crime within 500 feet of public housing, a public library, or a public park:

When the drug involved is marijuana, and the amount is less than 1 ounce, the charge will be upgraded to a 3 rd degree offense. For any other drug or quantity, the charge is upgraded to a 2 nd degree offense which carries 5-10 years in prison. It doesn't matter if you were unaware of your location.

If you commit the crime and you have a gun with you:

Then you will also be charged for gun possession which can result in 10-20 years in prison when tried with offenses for the sale of drugs. The difference between 10 and 20 years in prison can be the difference your lawyer makes.

If someone dies from the drugs you sold them:

Then you will be charged with a 1 st degree offense which carries 10-20 years in prison. Sometimes a lawyer can prove that the person's death was too remote to warrant a 1 st degree offense. This is an example of why having an experienced defense attorney on your side is incredibly important.

If you sell drugs to a pregnant woman or someone who is 17 years of age or under:

Then you will be subject to twice the penalties, fines, and parole ineligibility you would otherwise be subject to for the offense.

What Are My Possible Defenses?

Having an experienced drug distribution attorney on your side is vital to a proper defense, but having an attorney that has worked on both sides of the law is also very important. As a former prosecutor, I understand the types of defenses that hold up against the prosecution's case. Some of the best defenses arise when the police violate your Constitutional rights.

For Example: Imagine the police enter your home to arrest you, and they have the proper cause to enter, but they only have the lawful right to search certain places in your home, such as those areas where someone might be hiding with a gun. Let's say that after the police determine that no one of any danger is in your house, they start rummaging through your nightstand and they find an ounce of marijuana. A nightstand is too small for anyone to hide in, and since the police only had the right to make sure the premises was safe, they exceeded the scope of their lawful search by looking through your nightstand. Therefore, since the drugs were found during a violation of your constitutional rights, they would not be admissible at trial. This defense is called a violation of your 4 th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Other possible defenses include:

  • Lack of probable cause
  • Violation your Miranda Rights under the 5 th Amendment
  • Violation your 6 th Amendment Rights
  • Violation of your 14 th Amendment Rights

I have represented people charged with the sale and distribution of drugs for more than 35 years. I can help you fight drug charges with a number of tactics, such as challenging the evidence, and depending on your offense, I can negotiate with prosecutors to downgrade the charges to a municipal offense rather than a criminal court matter. Contact me today and look forward to a brighter future tomorrow.

I also defend charges of: