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New Jersey law considers cocaine to be a controlled dangerous substance, while federal law categorizes it as a Schedule II drug. This is all to say that being found in possession of this drug, even if it is a small amount, may lead to a serious criminal charge. Subsequently, this may come with serious criminal penalties. Continue reading to learn the potential penalties you may be facing for cocaine possession and how one of the experienced Bergen County criminal defense attorneys at McNerney & McAuliffe can work to reduce or altogether eliminate them.

What are the penalties for cocaine possession in the state of New Jersey?

Firstly, the state of New Jersey holds that possessing any amount of cocaine is a third-degree indictable offense. In other states, this may otherwise be referred to as a third-degree felony offense.

Evidently, the penalties for an indictable offense like this may be harsh. Without further ado, the possible consequences you may be facing after being found guilty of cocaine possession in the state of New Jersey read as follows:

  • You may be facing a prison sentence of anywhere between three to five years.
  • You may be facing a fine of as much as $35,000.
  • You may be facing a driver’s license suspension for as long as six months.

You must understand that you may be facing heightened penalties if you are charged with selling or trafficking cocaine. Examples of these upgraded penalties read as follows:

  • You were charged with selling 0.5 ounces or less of cocaine:
    • You may be facing a prison sentence of anywhere between three to five years.
    • You may be facing a fine of as much as $75,000.
  • You were charged with selling between 0.5 ounces and five ounces of cocaine:
    • You may be facing a prison sentence of anywhere between five to 10 years.
    • You may be facing a fine of as much as $150,000.
  • You were charged with selling over five ounces of cocaine:
    • You may be facing a prison sentence of anywhere between 10 to 20 years.
    • You may be facing a fine of as much as $500,000.
  • You were charged as a trafficking leader of a cocaine trafficking network:
    • You may be facing a life sentence in prison with a minimum of 25 years before parole eligibility.
    • You may be facing a fine of as much as $500,000.

What attempts can I make to avoid a sentence to these penalties?

As you may likely conclude yourself, the penalties associated with a cocaine possession charge may be life-altering. However, you may rest easier knowing that an attorney can work to drop this charge, especially if you are a first-time offender.

For example, an attorney may attempt to get you placed in a diversion program instead, such as a pre-trial intervention. If you complete the program requirements during the allotted probationary period, this charge may be suspended, dismissed, and ultimately kept off your permanent criminal record.

In conclusion, it is in your best interest to employ one of the skilled Bergen County criminal defense attorneys for your case proceedings. So please schedule your initial consultation with us at McNerney & McAuliffe today.

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