Police recently reported making an arrest of man who was planning to sell heroin at a Wawa.
The arrest comes after authorities followed up on local complaints of drug-related activity in the area.
Surveillance operations performed by the police yielded a suspect who police stopped in a car in a Wawa parking lot. They searched the vehicle after obtaining a search warrant and discovered drug paraphernalia along with 30 wax folds of heroin.
After further investigation, police learned that the suspect was planning to distribute the narcotics at the Wawa.
The man has since been processed and released pending a court appearance, and is being charged with possession of heroin, possession with intent to distribute and with possession of drug paraphernalia.
In New Jersey, any crime associated with heroin is a serious one. Even something as minor as possession of a tiny amount can be considered a third degree felony, which is punishable of up to five years in prison.
Possession of heroin is charged as both a federal and state criminal offense. According to federal law, a first offense requires a minimum of fine of $1000 and is punishable with up to one year in prison.
If it is an individual’s second offense, the minimum fine increases to $2500 and a minimum jail sentence of 15 days is required. That jail sentence can also be up to two years.
If an individual is convicted for a third time, they must pay a minimum fine of $5000 and serve anywhere between 90 days and three years in prison.
In New Jersey, the grade of offense and penalties increase if an individual knowing and intentionally possesses heroin with the intent to sell or distribute. These possible punishments are as follows:
- Third degree – an individual possesses less than half an ounce of heroin with intent to distribute. Results in a fine up to $75,000 and possible jail sentence of up to five years.
- Second degree – an individual possess between one half and five ounces of heroin. Punishable by 5-10 years in jail.
- First degree – an individual possesses more than five ounce of heroin. Can result in a jail sentence between 10-20 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
Facing a heroin charge can be a scary thing, especially for first-time offenders. The good news is that in New Jersey there are alternative sentencing options for those convicted.
There is drug court, which focuses on rehabilitation and treatment for drug offenders through counseling, drug testing and several follow up court appearances. It is an option for repeat offenders or those facing first or second degree drug distribution charges.
Another alternative is pre-trial intervention, which is catered toward those charged with less serious crimes. If accepted, an individual can avoid incarceration but must agree to certain conditions like making restitution and accepting drug treatment.
It is clear that heroin charges in New Jersey are to be taken seriously. If you or a loved one is facing criminal drug charges it is important to hire the right lawyer to defend your rights.
Call 856-351-5335 or fill out our convenient online contact form for a free consultation today.
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.