WHAT IS POSSESSION OF CDS?
The police stop a man and see 3 folds of heroin sticking out of his pocket. Heroin is a Controlled Dangerous Substance. This is Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
In New Jersey, the simple possession of an illegal drug is called Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (C.D.S.) and it is defined in New Jersey Statute 2C:35-10. This is the crime of possessing a drug for personal use. Depending on the circumstances, law enforcement may charge additional crimes, including Possession with Intent to Distribute – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, Possession of Prescription Legend Drugs – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5, Possession with Intent to Distribute in a School Zone – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7, Possession with Intent to Distribute within 500 feet of a public park or housing – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1
The first element that the prosecution must prove is that whatever you possessed was controlled dangerous substance. In N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2, New Jersey law defines “controlled dangerous substance” as any drug, substance, or immediate precursor listed in the Schedules I through V. This means almost any drug that you can use to alter you mentally. This even includes drug analogs, which have a chemical structure similar to a controlled dangerous substance and produce a similar effect.
The next element that the Prosecution must prove is that you possessed or obtained the CDS. In New Jersey, you possess something if you know what the item is and you know you have the item. If you have it on your person, the law will call this actual possession. If you have the item where you control it, the law will call this constructive possession. This means you could be found guilty for possession of CDS that was not physically on your person at the time, if you had control over it earlier. Finally, more than one person can be in possession of an item if they all share possession of the CDS.
Finally, the Prosecution will need to prove must prove is that you acted knowingly or purposefully in obtaining or possessing the drugs. This means the Prosecution will need to show that you knew you possessed the CDS.
In order for the prosecution to convict you of Possession of CDS, they must prove the following elements:
- The items was a controlled dangerous substance;
- That you possessed or obtained the item; and
- You knew you possessed the item.
For anyone charged with possession of CDS, the results may be disastrous. The federal government may suspend any financial aid for a person convicted of a drug offense, including possession. A drug conviction may prevent you from obtaining many types of assistance and programs. Most employers run background checks on anyone applying for a job and a conviction will most likely lead to you being not hired. Not only will you lose future employment, but a conviction can result in imprisonment and loss of your freedom. In addition to jail or prison time, a court will impose significant fines, and you will have a criminal record.
Because of the significant consequences to a person charged with a CDS crime, it is important to immediately hire a New Jersey criminal attorney as soon as you are either investigated or charged with an offense. Hiring a former prosecutor who now practices defense can make the difference between having a conviction and having the case dismissed. Please contact an experienced New Jersey criminal attorney about your CDS case.
HIRING AN EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY FOR ANY DRUG CHARGES
Attorney Douglas Herring is an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who will help you fight your drug charges. Mr. Herring is a former prosecutor in State and Federal Court. He will review your case and work with you to determine a plan to give you the best defense possible. He will file motions for you in court and he will determine how to effectively argue your case to convince the prosecutor or the judge that the case is weak and the charges should be dismissed. In many situations, Mr. Herring can assist you with seeking treatment if you feel you have a drug problem.
Mr. Herring handles cases in New Jersey Courts, including Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer, Monmouth, and Hunterdon counties. Mr. Herring will go to court with you and assist in getting you released from custody and explaining to the judge why you should not be held in jail. He can also assist in having a bail bondsman in court to facilitate an immediate release from custody. When you learn there is a New Jersey drug crime case filed against you, please contact New Jersey criminal defense attorney Douglas Herring for a free consultation. You can call our office toll free at (844) NJ Accused (844-652-2287) or (609) 256-4098, (732) 339-3968, (908) 552-0828 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page or by sending an e-mail. We are available every day of the year, 24 hours a day.
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