What happens if I’m caught selling drugs in a public park or public housing in NJ?
NJ authorities noticed that many illegal drug deals were being conducted in public parks and public housing projects. This led to New Jersey lawmakers passing special laws to specifically criminalize the distribution of illegal narcotics in these areas and to impose enhanced penalties against violators of the law. A person convicted of unlawfully selling a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or certain prescription drugs, within 500 feet of a public park, a public housing facility, or a public building can be charged with a felony and face a mandatory minimum term of incarceration in NJ state prison. For instance, the sale of less than one ounce of marijuana near a publicly owned area is punishable by a sentence of 3-5 years in prison. Moreover, these penalties are commonly imposed in addition to any penalties for the underlying drug offense. Beyond that, if you are caught selling drugs within 500 feet of a public park and within 1,000 feet of a school, you can also be charged with drug distribution near a school zone and face additional penalties.
Charged with a Public Park Drug Offense in South Jersey? Contact Atlantic City Criminal Attorney John W. Tumelty Today
If you are convicted of selling drugs near a publicly owned area like a public park or public housing facility in New Jersey, you could be subject to a mandatory minimum term of incarceration in state prison. Moreover, it won’t matter that if you didn’t realize that you were near a public park – you will still face enhanced penalties on top of your underlying drug distribution charges. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can work with you to develop a strong strategy to fight the charges and avoid a conviction.
John W. Tumelty is an experienced criminal attorney who has been defending clients against drug crime charges in New Jersey for more than 30 years. Whether you face a disorderly persons offense charge at the municipal court level for simple possession of marijuana or a felony charge at the superior court level for heroin distribution, Mr. Tumelty can help you avoid the most severe penalties. He is a former state prosecutor who now represents defendants in drug offense cases throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic County and Cape May County, NJ. Contact Mr. Tumelty today to schedule a free consultation about your drug charges.