It is without argument that the majority of criminal cases on the docket in Superior Court, Hudson County are the controlled dangerous substance (CDS) offenses. Even drug users who have quantities of over 10 to 20 dime bags are often charged with possession with intent to distribute, notwithstanding that they do not possess the narcotics for sale, but only for their own personal use. Often these users face the draconian penalties as sellers when in fact they only possess the CDS for their own personal consumption.
Remember if you are convicted twice for such an offense, the second conviction will result in a mandatory extended term, increasing the offense level automatically from a third-degree to a second-degree, or a second-degree crime to a first-degree crime depending on the amount of CDS and whether it was recovered within 1000-feet of a school, or 500-feet of a public park or public building such as a library.
There are many ways to defend these types of case and often an expert is needed to refute the prosecutor’s police expert who will testify that based on his knowledge and the hypothetical question posed to him, that the defendant possessed the quantity of CDS not for possession but rather with intent to distribute.
The police expert will use factors such as other packaging material, such as baggies found near the CDS, scales, cutting agents, large sums of money, as well as other facts which he will claim shows that the defendant possessed these drugs not for his personal use but with intent to distribute. In most cases the defendant will need to refute this testimony with his own drug intent expert. Accordingly, the defendant must retain his own intent expert to explain to the jury that possession of 15-bags of heroin for example is typical and highly standard for a person who has a drug habit of 5-10 bags per day, and that the sum of 15 or 20 bags, based on the defendant’s drug usage, will last him or her maybe two days. The law office of Vincent Sanzone has handled hundreds of these types of charges, and has successfully worked with defense drug experts at trial in defending these cases. If you are charged with such an offense in Superior Court, Hudson County you are urged to consult the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
Dated: October 10, 2013