New Jersey Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer

     Possession of drug paraphernalia without more is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey.  This means that if it is the only charge, a defendant will face a maximum of 6 months in jail, and a $1,000 fine.   Additionally, as with all Title 35 and 36 Drug Crimes, a conviction can also result in a 2 year driver’s license suspension.  

Can I Fight my Paraphernalia Charge?

There are many avenues of defense, generally these rely on defects in how the police obtained evidence.  The police need probable cause to suspect you of possession and to search your person or vehicle.  They need a warrant to search your home.  If they had neither of these, you may be able to have the evidence thrown out of court and your case dismissed.

It is important to know your rights at all stages of a search, seizure and arrest.  With nearly 40 years experience as Judge, Prosecutor, and Private Defense Lawyer, the Attorneys of Avery & Avery know all the tricks and tactics NJ police use to illegally obtain evidence.  As Criminal Defense Lawyer's, we have mastered the identification of flaws in the States case, and will work with you to either avoid a criminal conviction, or have the case thrown out completely.  

In most cases you do have a defense, or a way around JailFines, License Suspension, and a Criminal Record, and it is important to contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney immediately to help guide you through our complicated legal system.  It is also important to remember that even if there are no affirmative defenses, a Drug Possession defense attorney can still help by significantly reduces the penalties, making a Bendix Extreme Hardship application to save your driver’s license, or entering you into a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) or the Conditional Discharge program.

What is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug Paraphernalia can be loosely defined as any and all devices / objects used in anyway with a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Drugs).  Examples of  some common Drug Paraphernalia include Pipes, Bongs, Syringes, Spoons, Razors, Prescription Pads, Scales, Bags, Rolling Papers, Grinders, etc.  

              (Yes, even this 'police car' would be considered paraphernalia)

Frequently Asked Questions

I was charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia in my town, what will happen next?

If there were additional other drug charges, which is most cases, and the charge is a 4th degree crime or greater, the case will be submitted to your county prosecutor where it will be adjudicated.  

If the only charge was for drug paraphernalia or other disorderly persons offenses, the case will be handled at the municipal court of the town you were arrested.  

The Paraphernalia was the property of a friend, can I still be found guilty?

Unfortunately the law will not distinguish between you or your friend, unless the friend takes the heat and admits the drug paraphernalia was his.  Often times this is not an option and the ‘friend’ refuses to do so.  In these cases it is necessary to defend yourself, for a free consultation, please call 201-943-2445.

The police are about to arrest me, what do I do?

In most situations when being arrested we advise our clients to not say a thing.  You do not have to and should not be coerced or threatened into talking with the police.  If you are being arrested call our attorney's immediately for representation.  Even one wrong statement to the police can harm you and result in a conviction later on.  

What happens when the supposed ‘paraphernalia’ wasn’t for drug use, but had another legitimate purpose?

In these situations it is important to stress this fact to the Judge.  To do so on your own is a risky proposition however, as often times we see uncounselled defendants convicted because they do not have the experience necessary to argue these legitimate uses.  

I am under 18 years old, how does the NJ Criminal Mischief law affect me?

New Jersey's Juvenile justice system differs significantly from the adult system.  Minors charged with nearly any crime, including drug possession and paraphernalia possession will most often be instead adjudicated for juvenile delinquency.  Juvenile Delinquency can carry the same penalties as the predicate offense, but is generally far more lenient.  For more information about Juvenile Delinquency charges, please see here.

If they have caught me and there are no defenses, what can I do?

In some situations the police have caught the defendant dead to rights and there are no defenses.  In situations like these we have often been successful in downgrading the offense to a far lesser penalty with no jail time or demerits on your permanent record.  Our attorney’s are also adept at avoiding what many consider the harshest punishment related to this crime, the 2 year driver’s license suspension.

Another approach is to enter our client into a diversionary program such as Pre Trial Intervention (PTI)  or Conditional Discharge (CD).  These programs provide the benefit of no jail time and no criminal record.  We have been successful with combinations of the two as well when dealing with high level offenders who have other concurrent drug offenses, such as the possession of marijuana.

I have been convicted for the Posession of Drug Paraphernalia before, but in another state, how does this affect the case?

There is no step up provision for recurrant crimes, however if the other State's paraphernalia law is substantially similar to NJ's, a NJ court will likely count it as a prior and be more inclined to impose greater than the minimum penalties.  This could mean the difference between walking out of court and going to jail for 6 months.  If you have been convicted before for  no matter the State, it is imperative you contact an Experienced NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer.

How does a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge / conviction affect my immigration status?

The United States has very restrictive immigration laws, and a NJ Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charge can have dire consequences, including possible deportation and inadmissibility back into the US.  

Drug offenses are among the most dangerous crimes in regards to immigration status.  Any offense related to a controlled dangerous substance (drugs), can result in deportation, except a single conviction related to the possession of 30g or less of marijuana.

If you have been charged with any criminal offense in NJ and are not a citizen, don’t risk immigration consequences.  Our lawyers have a near perfect success in protecting our clients from the immigration consequences of a drug paraphernalia conviction.

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