The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Punishment for Drug Trafficking in Monmouth County

In Monmouth County, New Jersey, the penalties for a conviction of trafficking drugs are harsh and frequently involve a lengthy term of incarceration. For this reason, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense attorney early in the prosecution of a drug trafficking case. There are often several viable avenues of defense available to an individual charged with trafficking a controlled substance; however, the longer you wait to begin working on your defense the less chance you will have of success.

“Trafficking” can apply to any controlled substance, though the most common cases involve marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. If you are charged by the State of New Jersey and convicted of trafficking any of these controlled substances you face the following potential penalties in Monmouth County:

  • Marijuana – Less than an ounce – 18months to three years; one ounce to 5 pounds – 3 to 5 years; 5 to 25 pounds (or 10 to 50 plants ) – 5 to 10 years; over 25 pounds (or over 50 plants) – 10 to 20 years with mandatory minimum sentence imposed.
  • Heroin/Cocaine/Methamphetamine – less than a ½ ounce – 3 to 5 years; ½ ounce to 5 ounces – 5 to 10 years; over 5 ounces – 10 to 20 with mandatory minimum sentence imposed.

While these potential penalties for trafficking a controlled substance are certainly harsh enough, they can get even worse. Specific factors that are present in your case can cause the court to add additional time to your sentence.  Some of the factors that can increase your sentence include:

  • Criminal History – if you have a previous controlled substance conviction and/or a previous felony conviction your sentence could be increased.
  • Use of a weapon – if a weapon was used, or weapons were found during the search of your home, the court could increase your sentence.
  • Location – the law allows for an increased sentence if you were trafficking within 1000 feet of a school or school bus, or near a park, public housing facility or public building. 

Along with a possible prison sentence, the law allows the forfeiture of your assets if you are charged with drug trafficking in Monmouth County. The law does not require you to be convicted for forfeiture to occur. 

If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Monmouth County, either at the state or federal level, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney right away to protect your rights and begin planning your defense.

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