Experienced Defense Lawyer for Heroin Cases in New Jersey
Heroin is a Schedule I drug under New Jersey law. As a result, cases involving heroin present the risk of substantial penalties—including huge fines and years of imprisonment. While first-time offenders will be able to avoid a conviction through pre-trial intervention (PTI) in some cases, many individuals who are charged with heroin crimes will need to fight to protect their finances, their freedom, and their future by all means available.
Regardless of the circumstances of your case, defense lawyer Scott Gorman can help. Scott has been handling heroin and other drug crime cases in New Jersey for more than 15 years. If you are eligible for PTI, Scott can help you get into the program and keep your record clean. If you need to negotiate a plea deal or fight for a favorable outcome at trial, Scott can use his experience to protect you to the fullest extent possible.
Heroin Crimes Under New Jersey Law
According to the New Jersey Department of Human Services, heroin use accounts for 42 percent of all substance abuse treatment admissions in New Jersey. But, even though heroin use is a serious health problem that requires treatment, as heroin is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled dangerous substance (CDS), using or possessing any amount of heroin is a criminal offense under New Jersey law.
New Jersey’s heroin crimes and penalties include:
- Heroin Use – Using heroin is a disorderly person’s offense in New Jersey. This is comparable to a misdemeanor-level offense in other states. If convicted of using heroin, a defendant can face up to six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine.
- Heroin Possession – Possessing any amount of heroin for personal use is a third-degree indictable crime in New Jersey. Individuals who get convicted can face three to five years of prison time and up to a $35,000 fine.
- Heroin Possession with Intent to Distribute – Possessing less than half an ounce of heroin with intent to distribute is a third-degree crime carrying an enhanced fine of $75,000. Possessing a half-ounce or more but less than five ounces of heroin with intent to distribute is a second-degree indictable crime carrying five to 10 years in prison and up to a $150,000 fine. Possessing five ounces of heroin or more with intent to distribute is a first-degree crime that carries 10 to 20 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine.
- Heroin Manufacturing Distribution – Heroin manufacturing and distribution are subject to the same quantity-based classifications and penalties as possession with intent to distribute.
How Our Heroin Defense Attorney Can Help Your Case
Just like other types of drug crimes, there are several potential defenses to all types of heroin crimes under New Jersey law. Some of these defenses focus on proving innocence (or preventing the prosecution from proving guilt), while others focus on minimizing the consequences of a heroin-related arrest. Depending on the circumstances of your case, some examples of defenses that lawyer Scott Gorman may be able to assert on your behalf include:
- Pre-Trial Intervention – As mentioned above, some first-time offenders will qualify to participate in one of New Jersey’s pre-trial intervention programs. If you qualify, and if you enter into and complete the program successfully, you can avoid a conviction regardless of whether the prosecution would otherwise be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The Heroin Wasn’t Yours – If you were arrested at a party, in a vehicle or under any other circumstances in which other people were (or could have been) present, you may be able to defend against your heroin possession charge by arguing that prosecutors cannot prove the heroin was yours.
- Lack of Intent to Distribute – If you are being charged with possession with intent to distribute, prosecutors must be able to prove your subjective intent in order to secure a conviction. While prosecutors can use circumstantial evidence (i.e., possession of scales or bags) to try to prove intent, there are many ways to challenge the prosecution’s evidence as well.
- Lack of Evidence – In general, if your defense lawyer can show that the prosecution’s evidence is insufficient in any respect, this can be enough to prevent the judge or jury from finding you guilty of heroin use, possession, manufacturing or distribution beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Constitutional Violations – If the police conducted an unconstitutional search or seizure if the prosecution withholds exculpatory evidence, or if the State otherwise violates your constitutional rights, this could entitle you to a “not guilty” verdict at trial.
Talk to New Jersey Heroin Lawyer Scott Gorman about Your Case for Free
If you have been charged with a heroin crime in New Jersey, it is important that you speak with a Heroin defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call 862-250-6201 or send us your contact information online to schedule a free and confidential consultation at The Gorman Law Firm. Our offices are located in Essex County and Morristown.