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Drug Distribution Lawyer

Former prosecutor, now fighting for you.

New Jersey Criminal Defense and DUI attorney
who knows how to navigate the local courts.

Former State Prosecutor and Criminal Trial Attorney

Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for over 30 years

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Atlantic City, NJ Drug Distribution Defense Attorney Will Fight Your Drug Charges


Drug distribution charges are prosecuted far more aggressively in New Jersey than are drug possession cases. Prosecutors in Atlantic and Cape May counties have heard the message from the NJ State Attorney General’s Office loud and clear; there is a focused directive to crack down on drug distributors, manufacturers, and traffickers.

Further, when it comes to the amount of drugs involved, size doesn’t really matter to lawmakers. Getting caught with even a small amount of drugs can incur severe penalties if police believe you were attempting to distribute them. Although most people think that drug distribution is only committed by drug dealers, New Jersey drug laws are extremely broad and can be applied to any exchange of drugs. Drug distribution technically occurs anytime a drug exchange takes place. Even if no money changed hands, you can be charged with drug distribution under NJ law.

John W. Tumelty is the founding partner of the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty. He has been practicing law for more than 30 years in NJ. A New Jersey Supreme Court certified criminal trial attorney, he is among the less than two percent of all NJ attorneys who have earned this distinction. Additionally, Mr. Tumelty is a former state prosecutor who served as a Deputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, as well as a former assistant county prosecutor who served with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Trial Section. He puts his extensive experience as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney to use every day when he handles drug charges throughout Cape May County and Atlantic County

What Are the Penalties for Drug Distribution, Possession with Intent, and Drug Manufacturing in New Jersey?

Drug distribution, possession with intent to sell, and manufacturing tend to overlap in the eyes of New Jersey law enforcement. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 explicitly prohibits the manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). The penalties for intent to distribute and actual distribution are identical, so the offenses are functionally the same.

The drug distribution law imposes severe penalties on offenders, but those penalties vary depending upon the type and amount of drug. For example, a conviction for distribution of less than ounce of marijuana can result in a sentence of 18 months in NJ State Prison and a fine of $10,000. In the most extreme cases involving a high volume of illegal drugs, violators of the law can be charged with first degree distribution and sentenced to as many as 20 years in NJ State Prison and fined up to $500,000. There might also be minimum parole ineligibility periods. Additionally, enhanced penalties may apply if the offender has a previous drug conviction or if the drug distribution occurred in a protected area such as a school zone or public park.

An experienced attorney can help you explore alternatives to prison, including probationary terms, downgraded sentences, and alternative sentencing programs such as drug court or conditional discharge. If you are eligible for one of these diversionary programs, you may be able to petition to have your drug distribution charge diverted. Upon successful completion of the program, the charge against you would be dismissed.

Prosecutors often set their sights on people charged with any kind of drug distribution offense. Whether you’ve been accused of distributing illegal prescription medications, manufacturing marijuana, “cutting” heroin for street distribution, or possession with intent to distribute cocaine, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced drug crimes defense attorney immediately. Having a drug crime conviction on your permanent record can destroy your reputation and make it difficult to obtain or retain a good job in the future.

Call John W. Tumelty Today to Speak with a Former State Prosecutor with Insider’s Knowledge of New Jersey Drug Distribution Cases

John W. Tumelty is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will fight to ensure that your legal rights are protected every step of the way. He represents clients facing drug distribution and possession charges in Cape May and Atlantic counties. He is extremely knowledgeable about the law in this area because he devotes my entire legal practice to representing people who’ve been charged with criminal offenses and DWI violations. Mr. Tumelty is prepared to attack the prosecution’s case and do everything within my power to help you beat the charges.

Call his offices day or night, or use the online contact form to schedule an appointment. With conveniently located offices in Marmora and Somers Point, Mr. Tumelty is always available for an in-person consultation to discuss your case.

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