Possession of cocaine is a serious crime. If you have been charged with the possession of cocaine, you may face serious penalties. It is important for the defendant to be aware of how charges are categorized. It is also advisable to hire a drug offense attorney to protect your rights.
Categorization of Possession of Cocaine Charges
- Weight of cocaine: Many states categorize the possession of cocaine charges based on the weight of the cocaine. Possession of cocaine that weighs less than a gram will result in the lowest level of felony. People who possess higher weights of cocaine will face higher degrees of felony.
- Distribution of cocaine: Cocaine can be distributed in the form of crack rocks, or in powdered form in small baggies. If a person is found with several baggies or crack rocks, the charges may be increased by alleging that the person possessed the cocaine with intent to distribute.
- Purity of the cocaine: Charges for the possession of cocaine will also be influenced by the purity of the cocaine. When a package of cocaine is first introduced for distribution, it has a higher degree of purity. For this reason, the person possessing the higher purity level of cocaine is an indication of distribution, hence, the defendant’s charge increase.
Determining the Penalties
The penalties are influenced by the degree of felony. The penalties for a mere possession of cocaine can range from automatic probation, to up to five years in prison. The penalties for possession of cocaine will increase incrementally by weight.
Some states will enhance the penalties based on aggravating circumstances. Some of these include possession of cocaine within a drug free zone, having a firearm, and the purity level of the cocaine.
The penalties for the possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute are also higher. Some states will increase the felony level to the next felony category for the distribution of cocaine.
Drug Offense Lawyer in New Jersey
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug-related offense in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC immediately. Our experienced NJ drug defense lawyers will defend your rights and fight to keep you out of jail.
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