Juvenile Drug Possession in New Jersey
A person will be charged with drug possession if they found in possession of any controlled substance without any legitimate legal reasoning. Both federal and state laws control and regulate a multitude of medications, drugs and other chemicals. When someone who is under the age of 18 is found in possession or in control of any of these regulated substances without legitimate legal proof that they are allowed to do so, it is determined to be “Juvenile drug possession”. For someone under 18, being in possession of any of these substances can result in exceedingly harsh punishments and can have long term repercussions on someone’s life. When a person over the age of 18 is found in possession of any such controlled substance, their case is handled in a standard trial court, yet the process is different for juveniles. Conversely, for a juvenile, their case will be processed within the juvenile court system, which may be a more informal process as compared to a legal adult.
Possession Laws in NJ
If a person under the age of 18 is found with any illegal substance without any legal justification allowing them to legally possess that substance, they will be charged with juvenile drug possession. Commonly, these charges come about when a police officer pulls over a juvenile and discovers an illegal substance in the car while either speaking with the driver or noticing it while completing a search of the vehicle.
Many times it is the possession of marijuana, cocaine, or other recreational drugs of that type that brings about juvenile drug possession charges. It is also possible for a juvenile to illegally be in possession of prescription medication without a prescription and then be charged with juvenile drug possession. If a person under the age of 18 is found with prescription drugs yet they are also in possession of a legitimate prescription from a physician for the medication, they will not be charged with a crime unless the prescription in question is not made out to the person in possession of the drug, which would then be a crime.
During a trial, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the substance in question had been held or placed in the pocket of the defendant, it is only necessary to prove that the substance had been within an area of which the juvenile would have had control over. It is common that a person under 18 may be pulled over and following a search of the car, the officer may find illegal substances in a storage compartment within the car such as a glove box, a center console, or the trunk of the vehicle. This is also the case if a juvenile is found in possession of any illegal drugs within their personal areas such as a room or school locker.
Contact an Attorney Today
A juvenile drug possession charge should never be taken lightly. Even in a juvenile court, drug possession penalties can be very harsh and have long lasting consequences. It is certainly in your best interest to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with juvenile drug possession. A well versed juvenile attorney will be able to fight for you and possibly reduce or even eliminate any charges brought upon you. Contact John W. Tumelty now so that we may begin fighting for your rights and help defend your freedom.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.