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Simple Possession 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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Experienced Atlantic City, NJ Defense Attorney Fights Simple Possession Drug Charges in South Jersey


It is important for you to know what to do in the days and weeks following an arrest for simple drug possession. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process in New Jersey and build a vigorous defense on your behalf to fight your drug charges.

John W. Tumelty is an experienced criminal defense attorney and the founding partner of the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty. He has 30 years of experience in criminal law, which has allowed him to hone his craft and develop advanced defense strategies for drug cases. Having served as a prosecutor at both the state and county levels, Mr. Tumelty has hard-earned experience with drug cases and possesses real insight into the strategies employed by local prosecutors in these cases. He knows how prosecutors think, which gives you a huge advantage when you have Mr. Tumelty standing by your side in the courtroom.

When Can You Be Charged with Simple Possession and What Are the Penalties?

Controlled dangerous substances (CDS) can generally be categorized into two groups:

  • Illegal drugs: These are what are generally considered “hard” drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, Ecstasy, Rohypnol, etc. It is illegal for anyone in the State of New Jersey to possess any of these drugs without a license from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
  • Prescription drugs: Some of the more commonly charged prescription drug crimes in New Jersey stem from possession of Adderall, Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Ritalin, Vicodin, and Xanax. Although these drugs may be legally prescribed by a licensed physician, it is illegal to possess them without a valid prescription. If a person engages in prescription fraud in order to obtain any of these drugs, they may face additional penalties.

The penalties for simple possession of drugs depend upon the type of drug involved and the quantity of drug. For example, simple possession of marijuana refers to the possession of 50 grams or less of pot. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4), simple possession of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense. This means that the case will be heard in the local municipal court in the county in which you were arrested. If you are convicted, you face up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if you are charged with possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, you face enhanced penalties. Since this charge is classified as a felony, the case will be heard in the superior court of the county in which you were arrested.

If you are found in possession of a large amount of drugs, you may be charged with possession with intent to distribute, which can carry even more severe penalties. Importantly, NJ law makes no distinction between intent to distribute and actual distribution when imposing penalties. As a result, if your possession charge is elevated to an intent to distribute charge, you can be sentenced to years behind bars in state prison.

Speak to Defense Lawyer John Tumelty about Your Drug Charges in Cape May County and Atlantic County, NJ

If you are facing drug charges in New Jersey, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands how the New Jersey criminal justice system works and who knows how to help you avoid or reduce the most serious drug crime penalties. Mr. Tumelty served as a Deputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, where he investigated and prosecuted felony drugs offenses. He also served with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Trial Section, where he prosecuted major felony drug crimes. He is a New Jersey Supreme Court certified criminal trial attorney, a distinction earned by less than two percent of all NJ attorneys. As a result, Mr. Tumelty knows his way around the inside of a courtroom and will not back down from a legal fight when necessary.

When you get John Tumelty on your side, he will take immediate action to investigate the facts of your case and build a successful defense against your drug charges. He is prepared to explore every type of criminal defense option in your drug case. If the police acted improperly during the search and seizure of evidence in your case, he will look for a legal basis to get the evidence against you suppressed. Mr. Tumelty is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist clients. You can call him day or night, or you can simply fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation at his Marmora or Somers Point office.

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