If you have been charged with drug trafficking in the state of New Jersey, you are up against serious consequences. To avoid having this criminal offense appear on your permanent criminal record, you must do everything in your power to fight against these accusations. Read on to discover how you can fight your drug trafficking charges and how one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can stand by your side throughout.
What are the penalties for drug trafficking in the state of New Jersey?
New Jersey law considers drug trafficking a first-degree offense, which comes with mandatory penalties. For one, you may be sentenced to life in prison. With this, you would not be eligible for parole until you serve at least 25 years. In addition, you may be charged a fine of up to $750,000. Or, you may be charged five times the street value of the drugs you intended to traffic, which may even be more expensive. This is not to mention the additional consequences that come with having a permanent criminal record alone (i.e., losing job opportunities, housing opportunities, and custody opportunities).
What defenses can I take to fight against my drug trafficking charges?
The best-case scenario is that you get your drug trafficking charges dismissed entirely. You may be able to do so by arguing that your rights were violated or that you are factually innocent.
However, if your case cannot be dismissed, you may still be able to force the prosecution to enter a plea instead of going to trial. You can do this by exposing issues or holes in their case against you. Examples of this strategy include the following:
- You can use security camera footage or body camera footage that shows that a law enforcement officer violated your constitutional rights when conducting a search and seizure.
- You can file a motion to suppress the evidence against you in court if it was obtained as a result of a violation of your constitutional rights.
- You can make the argument that you lacked knowledge that you were in possession of drugs or trafficking drugs.
- You can make the argument that the drugs in your possession belonged to or were being trafficked by someone else.
- You can make the argument that you were persuaded by law enforcement officers to participate in drug trafficking.
- You can make the argument that the laboratory results showed that the law enforcement officer’s identification of illegal drugs was inaccurate.
- You can make the argument that the laboratory results showed that the quantity of drugs was under the statutory amount for drug trafficking.
To determine which defense strategy is best for your circumstances, you must consult with a skilled New Jersey criminal defense lawyer today.