Reasons to Hire A Controlled Dangerous Substance Attorney

If you have been arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (or CDS), hiring an attorney is your first step. A skilled attorney will act as your adviser. Lawyers spend time reviewing your case, selecting a course of action, and representing you in court. But, since CDL laws and penalties vary from state to state, residents of South Jersey will find themselves wanting a South Jersey possessions attorney. A skilled attorney will be your ally, making sure you get the best possible outcome in court.


What Qualifies As a CDS?


New Jersey law separates controlled dangerous substances into five categories, known as “Schedules.” Substance classified as Schedule I have no medicinal purpose in the United States, meaning their creation and possession is considered abusive. These substances carry the most severe penalties. Substances classified in lower Schedules have accepted medical uses and less potential for abuse, meaning the penalties assigned to them are not as harsh. A substance may appear in more than one Schedule if it is mixed with other substances, so make sure to research which schedule the substance you are charged with possessing fits into.


What Are The Penalties For Possessing a CDS?


In South Jersey, any possession of a CDS within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus will carry a minimum penalty of 100 hours of community service and a fine determined by the judge. You can also receive a $500 fine and Disorderly Person Offense for using or being under the influence of a CDS. Possessing a Schedule V substance can result in fines of up to $15,000 and 18 months in prison. Meanwhile, possessing a substance from Schedules I-IV can carry a penalty of up to $35,000 and a guaranteed 3 to 5 years in prison. These cash and prison penalties are all doubled on subsequent convictions. Please note that it is not illegal to possess or use a CDS if you have a valid medical prescription, but the higher in the Schedules your substance is, the less likely it is that you have one.


Why is a South Jersey possessions attorney important?


Professional legal representation is crucial in any court case. A successful defense requires thorough knowledge of criminal law and experience. Considering the harsh penalties you will incur if your defense fails, hiring a skilled attorney is crucial. Since the definition of a controlled dangerous substance and the severity of penalties varies from state to state, it’s critical that you hire an attorney who specializes in South Jersey law. A skilled attorney will review your case, taking into account prescriptions, prior offenses, and evidence you may have. The lawyer will either defend you or work to negotiate a reduced penalty or sentence. Criminal possession is a serious charge, and you deserve serious counsel.

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