Possession of CDS

Possession, Use or Being Under the Influence, or Failure to Make Lawful Disposition

Possession of CDS

In New Jersey the possession of any drug can carry harsh penalties. However, the precise penalties vary substantially based on the type and quantity of drug in your possession. If convicted, even if it is your first offense, you can face up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, loss of your driver’s license, and enrollment in mandatory drug rehabilitation programs.

CDS includes drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, acid, ecstasy, stimulants, hallucinogens, opiates, depressants, or and all other illegal narcotics.

In order to provide you with complete and accurate information we have provided the entire statute below.

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 proscribes:

  1. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c. 226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.). Any person who violates this section with respect to:
    1. A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $35,000.00 may be imposed;
    2. Any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $15,000.00 may be imposed;
    3. Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or more than five grams of hashish is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed; or
    4. Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person. Any person who commits any offense defined in this section while on any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of any such school property or a school bus, or while on any school bus, and who is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall, in addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, be required to perform not less than 100 hours of community service.
  2. Any person who uses or who is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, for a purpose other than the treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or administered by a physician is a disorderly person.
    In a prosecution under this subsection, it shall not be necessary for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of any specific drug, but it shall be sufficient for a conviction under this subsection for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of some controlled dangerous substance, counterfeit controlled dangerous substance, or controlled substance analog, by proving that the accused did manifest physical and physiological symptoms or reactions caused by the use of any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.
  3. Any person who knowingly obtains or possesses a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog in violation of subsection a. of this section and who fails to voluntarily deliver the substance to the nearest law enforcement officer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude a prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this title or any other statute.

Under this statute, if you are in possession of a controlled dangerous substance you are guilty of a third or fourth degree crime. However, if in possession of a large quantity of a controlled dangerous substance you are likely to be charged under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, possession with the intent to distribute. Here, the consequences become steep and severe.

Keep in mind that a person has not committed a crime under this statute if he possessed a controlled dangerous substance pursuant to a valid prescription from a licensed physician. An experienced attorney will explore whether the police acted lawfully when you were arrested and the drugs were seized. Were your Constitutional rights violated? Did the police have probable cause? Did they have a warrant? Was there an illegal search?

If you have been arrested and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, take the steps necessary to educate yourself about your charges. Our NJ drug offense lawyers provide free consultations and can give you the information you need to make educated choices going forward.