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Possession of CDS

Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances in NJ

In New Jersey, Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances is probably the most common charge seen in New Jersey Superior and Municipal courts across the State. Possession of CDS is codified at N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a).

“Possess” as used signifies an intentional control and dominion of a proscribed narcotic drug accompanied by knowledge of its character; actual physical manual control of the proscribed drug is not required if the intention to exercise dominion and control over it is manifested in circumstances where it is reasonable to infer that the capacity to do so exists, and possession need not be exclusive but may be jointly exercised by two or more persons. State v. Sapp, 144 N.J.Super. 455, 366 A.2d 335 (A.D.1975), reversed on other grounds 71 N.J. 476, 366 A.2d 334.

The Bianchi Law Group, LLC

The Bianchi Law Group is made up of former trial prosecutors and other “of counsel” attorneys who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of most crimes in New Jersey and will defend you for all federal and state crimes in New Jersey including Possession of CDS.

Former Possession of CDS Prosecutors

Founding Partner and Former Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi has returned to private practice after running the operations of the entire Morris County Prosecutor’s Office having served as the Morris County Prosecutor for 5 and 1/2 years (2007-2013). Mr. Bianchi was appointed as the Morris County Prosecutor by the Governor of the State of New Jersey and unanimously confirmed by the New Jersey Senate in 2007. While serving as the Morris County Prosecutor, Mr. Bianchi ran the entire office’s operations, inclusive of all of its attorneys, detectives, and support staff with a budget of approximately 11 million dollars. His innovative programs and approach have led to numerous awards from State, Local, Municipal, business, and private entities. Robert Bianchi served on the Executive Board of the County Prosecutors’ Association and was one of the few prosecutors in many years to actually argue cases, motions, and sentences in court, and actually tried a murder case himself, which is extremely rare for a sitting county prosecutor.

As Morris County Prosecutor, Robert Bianchi personally supervised the Narcotics unit which conducted wire tap investigation and undercover police operations. Additionally, Mr. Bianchi was a major contributor to the cooperating witness and confidential informant reform in New Jersey.

Mr. Bianchi was previously a Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor (1989-1996) and thereafter a partner in the law firm Bianchi & Bianchi (1996-2007). Robert was one of the few attorneys in the State who qualified to handle death penalty cases when New Jersey had the death penalty.

Partner David J. Bruno has also returned to private practice after serving as Morris County Assistant Prosecutor (2007-2013). As an assistant prosecutor, Mr. Bruno prosecuted murder, major crimes, narcotics, white collar, internal affairs, domestic violence, and elderly abuse cases. Additionally, Mr. Bruno handled fraud and Major Crimes investigations and successfully tried a wide variety of trials including securing convictions for several high profile murder cases.

In December 2012, then Prosecutor Bianchi and Assistant Prosecutor Bruno worked together to secure a murder conviction against Jose Feliciano for the violent death of Father Edward Hinds in at St. Patrick’s Church in Chatham, New Jersey. Mr. Feliciano was sentenced to life without parole.

Together, Robert A. Bianchi, David J. Bruno and other “of counsel” attorneys make up an aggressive, ethical, and results-oriented New Jersey Criminal Defense firm who handle all criminal, municipal and DUI/DWI cases in New Jersey including Possession of CDS.

Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court

Partners Robert A. Bianchi and David J. Bruno are also both certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a criminal trial Attorneys.

In New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court has a certification committee which classifies certain New Jersey Lawyers as Certified Trial Attorneys. The process requires the prospective attorneys to satisfy a strict criteria including extensive jury trials, a primary focus in criminal law, an application submission, a peer review process, a character and background check and to pass a written examination. Only 250 of over 93,000 lawyers (less than 1%) are designated as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This should be an important factor in finding a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to represent you. Many New Jersey Lawyers describe themselves as trial attorneys but most do not have the New Jersey Court’s distinction as Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.

Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances Penalties in New Jersey

The penalties for Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances depend on the type of drug at issue and may even depend on the place where possession took place.

Here are a list of the substances prohibited in New Jersey along with the degree and any statutory penalties which deviate to the standard fines found in N.J.S. 43-3:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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
  • Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person.

Crimes in the third degree range can be punishable from 3 years to 5 years in the New Jersey State prison. Crimes in the 4th degree range can be punishable up to 18 months in New Jersey State prison. Disorderly Persons offenses can be punishable up to 90 days in the County jail.

The Sentencing Judge may also order fines and restitution as prescribed by 2C:43-3 for all convictions for Possession of CDS in New Jersey.

Community Service for Possession of a CDS within 1000 Feet of School Property

Any person who commits possession of a controlled dangerous substance 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.

DEDR- Mandatory Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction penalties

Pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:35-15, the Sentencing Judge must order the defendant to pay the following mandatory drug enforcement and demand reduction penalties for any Chapter 35 (Controlled Dangerous Substances) and Chapter 36 (Drug Paraphernalia) convictions:

  • $3,000.00 in the case of a crime of the first degree;
  • $2,000.00 in the case of a crime of the second degree;
  • $1,000.00 in the case of a crime of the third degree;
  • $750.00 in the case of a crime of the fourth degree;
  • $500.00 in the case of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense.

Additionally, any person who possesses, distributes, dispenses or has under his control with intent to distribute or dispense 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, gammabutyrolactone, gamma hydroxybutyrate or flunitrazepam, or a controlled substance analog of any of these substances, shall, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, be subject to a drug enforcement and demand reduction penalty of twice the amount otherwise applicable to the offense. [2C:35-5.11. Fines imposed for possession or distribution of certain drugs].

NJ Driver’s License Suspension

A person convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter 35 (Controlled Dangerous Substances) or chapter 36 (Drug Paraphernalia) shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period to be fixed by the court at not less than six months or more than two years which shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed unless the court finds compelling circumstances warranting an exception.

Trial Ready New Jersey Criminal Lawyers

Like in all of our cases handled at the Bianchi Law Group, our experienced staff of trial attorneys and “of counsel” attorneys are there to make sure the Government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If our attorneys cannot resolve the case with a dismissal or a fair and just plea bargain, our lawyers at The Bianchi Law Group will not hesitate to select a jury and take the case to trial. That is what we do and what distinguishes us from other attorneys. We are former prosecutors, trial tested, and certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys… We will not hesitate to go to trial.

Contact Us Today for a Free Initial Consultation

Contact Former Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Esq. and David J. Bruno, Esq. at The Bianchi Law Group, LLC online or call (862) 210-8570 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced New Jersey Defense Attorney.

At The Bianchi Law Group, we will take care to provide you Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases.

New Jersey Supreme Court - Certified Attorney
National Italian American Bar Association
National Italian American Bar Association 2
Avvo Rating - 10.0 Superb - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
New Jersey Association for Justice
New Jersey State Bar Association
Order Sons of Italy in America


4 York Avenue, 2nd Floor
West Caldwell, New Jersey, 07006
Phone: 862-210-8570

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