Attorney Fighting Drug Distribution and Possession of CDS in School Zone Charges in Atlantic City and Across New Jersey
If you’ve been charged with possession of, or an intent to distribute, a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) within 1,000 feet of a school, it is imperative that you contact an attorney skilled in defending drug charges immediately. There is absolutely no substitute for experience in this area. The laws are complex and constantly evolving. At the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, we have over 35 years of experience in criminal law in Atlantic City, Cape May, Wildwood, Brigantine, Margate, Ventnor, Longport, Little Egg Harbor, Ocean Township , Middle Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call today for a free consultation.New Jersey is tough on drug charges in general but, when you are found in possession of drugs within a school zone, the penalties are even more severe. Being within 1,000 feet of a school creates a separate offense, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. This added offense greatly increases jail time and can even make you ineligible for parole.
What are the Most Common Drug Charges in Atlantic City & Cape May, NJ
There is a serious and growing drug problem in New Jersey, especially when it comes to heroin. If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs and you get charged with possession, you are facing serious penalties. Your freedom is literally at stake. Contact Mr. Tumelty right away if you are facing charges regarding possession within a school zone of any of the following substances:
- MDMA (Ecstasy)
- Oxycontin and other prescription drugs
John W. Tumelty is a former prosecutor who not only knows NJ drug laws and the ramifications of all charges, but he also knows how the other side thinks when they are prosecuting a defendant. His extensive criminal law background has given him the knowledge and experience to successfully defend clients in even the most difficult drug crime cases. Don’t make the mistake of hiring the wrong legal representation. Even a simple possession charge can negatively impact the rest of your life, making it difficult to get a job or find housing for many years. If your Constitutional rights were violated during the arrest, evidence obtained during the arrest can be thrown out. If that is not the case, Mr. Tumelty will use his knowledge and experience to fight aggressively for the best possible outcome. He may be able to have your case heard in drug court or get you involved in Pre-Trial Intervention.
Lawyer Fighting School Zone Charges in NJ’s Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean Counties
In order to qualify as a school zone conviction, the prosecution must prove that the act occurred within 1,000 feet of a school zone and that the area is regularly used for school purposes. Whether or not the accused knew that the area was a school zone is irrelevant. The law provides that the accused does not have to possess the knowledge that the CDS was being sold in a prohibited school zone. This is referred to as a strict liability statute and it imposes criminal liability even with a lack of intent. Further, if you were caught with possession of drugs in a motor vehicle either in or outside of school zone, you will be facing additional charges.
However, the severity of penalties is not entirely set in stone. For example, a school zone conviction carries a minimum term in prison, but if the defendant has no prior history and children were not present at the time of the conduct, the minimum term may be waived. If, however, the defendant was in possession of a firearm or threatened violence at the time of the conduct, the judge will have no ability to waive the mandatory jail term.
These are just two examples of the many variables involved within a school zone conviction. Only an attorney who is well-versed in this particular area will be able to effectively defend your rights and get you the most favorable outcome. John W. Tumelty has successfully defended countless drug crime charges, and he can do the same for you.
Possessing or distributing CDS within a school zone is considered separate from all other drug-related offenses, and you will most likely face two charges. For example, you will receive one charge for distribution and one charge for distribution in a school zone. This will increase your fines and jail time and may subject you to parole ineligibility. Distribution within a school zone is typically a third degree crime.
Contact the New Jersey Law Offices of John W. Tumelty if You Have Been Charged with Distribution or Possession of CDS in a School Zone
At the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, we have experience in even the most difficult drug crime cases. Our experience, understanding and knowledge have allowed us to successfully defend clients in all types of criminal cases for over 35 years. If you or someone you love has received any type of drug charges, contact Mr. Tumelty today for a free consultation. He has three offices to serve clients in Atlantic City, Marmora and Somers Point, NJ. Please call our office at 609.385.4010 or fill out this confidential contact form to request your free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.