Drug offenses committed in New Jersey are seen as both state and federal drug crimes. Ending up in the federal court system might sound like a scary concept, but it is possible if you have committed a crime such as drug possession, distribution, trafficking, or even manufacturing. Federal drug crimes are seen as more severe and can come with much harsher penalties in most cases. Because of this, it is imperative that you have the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you protect your rights at this time after you have been charged with a New Jersey drug crime.
Reasons Why a Drug Crime Could Become a Federal Offense
There are many reasons why a New Jersey drug crime could be pursued as a federal offense. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Location: The jurisdiction matters where you were charged. Anything can be prosecuted in federal court if it takes place on federal land such as a military base, national park, or any other federally-owned area. The same can be said for those who cross state lines and transport drugs into New Jersey.
- Cooperation: A long investigative process will take place after you have been charged with a federal drug crime. This means that the state and federal government will have to work together through the course of a long investigation involving many expenses. Federal penalties are more severe, which means that the investigation will typically take longer. The federal government has more resources and will be able to usually take control of the situation.
- Plea Bargains: If the crime brings on huge charges, authorities will usually pressure suspects, especially when they have evidence against them. This means that they might try to get information out of them by offering them a plea bargain.
- Severity of the Charge: Typically, the ‘feds’ will step in if a drug crime involves a vast amount of drugs. Especially in cases like money laundering, federal authorities will likely take over.
How Long Will My Sentence Be?
If this is your first offense in New Jersey, you might find that there are opportunities to avoid time in jail. There is usually also a minimum term of imprisonment that you can expect for certain violations. You can expect the penalties to worsen if certain aspects apply such as distributing drugs for those under 21, near schools or colleges, or if serious injury or death results from the crime.
How an Attorney Can Help After a Federal Drug Crime in Essex County, NJ
An experienced defense attorney can do the following things for you when you have been charged with a federal drug crime:
- Be involved in the investigation process and collect evidence that you can use to assist you during the process
- Work with the prosecution so that you can use witnesses in your case
When charged with a federal drug crime, it’s important to have an experienced attorney by your side to help you through this challenging process. Without an attorney, you could find that the penalties you face could be harsher than expected.
Contact an Experienced Summit Drug Defense Attorney About Your Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug related offense in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Zegas Law represent clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Morris County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, Bergen County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 379-1999 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 60 Morris Turnpike #60, Summit, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.