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Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute Drugs

Kenneth Vercammens Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.

If someone is Indicted for Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute, the Judge will read portions of the following to the Jury. They are called request to charge. Count of the indictment charges the defendant as follows: (Read Indictment)

The pertinent part of the statute (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5)1 on which this indictment is based reads as follows:

Except as authorized by (statute), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely ... to possess or have under his control with intent to ... distribute a controlled dangerous substance (or controlled substance analog).

2 The various kinds of substances are defined in another part of our statute. (Insert appropriate CDS, e.g., heroin, cocaine, etc.) is a dangerous substance prohibited by statute. (The defendant does not claim legal authorization, so the exceptions in the statute are not applicable in this case.) The statute, read together with the indictment, identifies the elements which the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to establish guilt of the defendant on this (count of the) indictment.

They are as follows:

1. The substance in evidence is (insert appropriate CDS or controlled substance analog).

2. The defendant possessed, or had under (his/her) control, S in evidence.

3. The defendant, when (he/she) possessed or had under (his/her) control S in evidence, had the intent to distribute S in evidence.

4. That the defendant acted knowingly or purposefully in possessing or having under (his/her) control with intent to distribute S in evidence.

[when it is alleged that a controlled substance analog was possessed with intent to distribute the following definition of controlled substance analog should be charged]:

In regard to the first element, a controlled substance analog is a substance which (1) has a chemical structure substantially similar to that of a controlled dangerous substance and (2) was specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to that of a controlled substance.3 In this case the indictment alleges that the defendant distributed which is an analog of the controlled dangerous substance . Thus, to establish this element the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that has a substantially similar chemical structure to the controlled dangerous substance and that was specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to the controlled dangerous substance.

In regard to the second element, that the defendant had under (his/her) control or possessed S in evidence, possess means (charge definition of possession). In regard to the third element, that the defendant had the intent to distribute S in evidence, distribute means the transfer, actual, constructive or attempted,4 from one person to another of a controlled dangerous substance (or controlled substance analog). It is not necessary that the drugs be transferred in exchange for payment or promise of payment of money or anything of value.

5 Intent means a purpose to do something, a resolution to do a particular act or accomplish a certain thing. Intent is a state of mind, and it is very rare that intent is proven by witnesses who can testify that an accused said (he/she) had a certain intent when (he/she) engaged in a particular act. The intention may be gathered from a persons acts, conduct, from all the person said and did at the particular time and place, and from all of the surrounding circumstances. You may consider any evidence as to the quantity, purity, and packaging

6 of S together with all the other evidence in the case to aid you in your determination of the element of intent to distribute. In regard to the fourth element, the State must prove, as I have stated, that the defendant acted knowingly or purposefully in having under (his/her) control or possessing S with intent to distribute. A person acts knowingly with respect to the nature of (his/her) conduct or the attendant circumstances if (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of that nature, or that such circumstances exist, or (he/she) is aware of a high probability of their existence. A person acts knowingly with respect to a result of (his/her) conduct if he is aware that it is practically certain that (his/her) conduct will cause such a result. Knowing, with knowledge or equivalent terms have the same meaning.

7A person acts purposely with respect to the nature of (his/her) conduct or a result thereof if it is (his/her) conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result. A person acts purposely with respect to attendant circumstances if (he/she) is aware of the existence of such circumstances of (he/she) believes or hopes that they exist. With purpose, designed, with design or equivalent terms have the same meaning.8 The terms knowingly and purposefully, like intent, refer to conditions of the mind that cannot be seen. It is not necessary for the State to prove the existence of such mental states by direct evidence such as a statement by the defendant that (he/she) had particular knowledge or a particular purpose. Knowledge and purpose as separate propositions of proof do not commonly exist. They must ordinarily be discovered as other mental states are from circumstantial evidence; that is, by reference to the defendants conduct, words or acts and all the surrounding circumstances.

To reiterate, the four elements of this offense are that:

1. The substance in evidence is (insert appropriate CDS or controlled substance analog).

2. The defendant possessed, or had under (his/her) control, S in evidence.

3. The defendant had the intent to distribute S in evidence.

4. That the defendant acted knowingly or purposely in possessing or having under (his/her) control with intent to distribute S in evidence.

If you find that the State had proven all these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must return a verdict of guilty. On the other hand, if you find that the State has failed to prove any of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must return a verdict of not guilty.

For representation in Criminal and Litigation cases, call KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC ATTORNEY AT LAW 2053 Woodbridge Ave. Edison NJ 08817 (Phone) 732-572-0500 (Fax) 732-572-0030 Member of: New Jersey New York Pennsylvania & Federal Bars

----- 1 N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 grades this offense for sentencing purposes by the type, quantity and purity of the CDS involved. In certain cases, the defendant is guilty of an offense regardless of the quantity and purity of the CDS distributed. This charge is sufficient for such cases. However, in cases in which the quantity and/or purity of the CDS is an element of the offense, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5c requires that this element be determined by the jury. In such a case, this charge would have to be supplemented to add this element. Please see the supplementary model charge concerning this.

2 To be charged when the indictment alleges possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analog.

3 N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2.

4 This definition is taken from the definitions of distribute and deliver set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2.

5 State v. Heitzman, 209 N.J. Super. 617, 621 (App. Div. 1986), affd 107 N.J. 603 (1987).

6 See State v. Perez, 218 N.J. Super. 478, 482-486 (App. Div. 1987).

7 N.J.S.A. 2C:2-2b(1).

8 N.J.S.A. 2C:2-2b(2)

Penalties expanded for Drug dealing:

2C:35-5. Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing 2C:35-5. Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing. a. Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:

(1) To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or

(2) To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.

b.Any person who violates subsection a. with respect to:

(1) Heroin, or its analog, or coca leaves and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of coca leaves, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation thereof which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of these substances, or analogs, except that the substances shall not include decocainized coca leaves or extractions which do not contain cocaine or ecogine, or or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the first degree. The defendant shall, except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed;

(2) A substance referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces, including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(3) A substance referred to paragraph (1) of this subsection in a quantity less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or dilutants 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 $75,000.00 may be imposed;

(4) A substance classified as a narcotic drug in Schedule I or II other than those specifically covered in this section, or the analog of any such substance, in a quantity of one ounce or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(5) A substance classified as a narcotic drug in Schedule I or II other than those specifically covered in this section, or the analog of any such substance, in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants 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 $75,000.00 may be imposed;

(6) Lysergic acid diethylamide, or its analog, in a quantity of 100 milligrams or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or phencyclidine, or its analog, in a quantity of 10 grams or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, the court shall impose a term of imprisonment which shall include the imposition of a minimum term, fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed;

(7) Lysergic acid diethylamide, or its analog, in a quantity of less than 100 milligrams including any adulterants or dilutants, or where the amount is undetermined, or phencyclidine, or its analog, in a quantity of less than 10 grams including any adulterants or dilutants, or where the amount is undetermined, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(8) Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed;

(9) (a) Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(b) Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or dilutants 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 $75,000.00 may be imposed;

(10) (a) Marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of five pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed;

(b) Marijuana in a quantity of five pounds or more but less than 25 pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or 10 or more but fewer than 50 marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of one pound or more but less than five pounds, including any adulterants and dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(11) Marijuana in a quantity of one ounce or more but less than five pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of five grams or more but less than one pound including any adulterants or dilutants, 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 $25,000.00 may be imposed;

(12) Marijuana in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of less than five grams including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree;

(13) Any other controlled dangerous substance classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or its analog, 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 $25,000.00 may be imposed; or

(14) Any Schedule V substance, or its analog, 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.

c.Where the degree of the offense for violation of this section depends on the quantity of the substance, the quantity involved shall be determined by the trier of fact. Where the indictment or accusation so provides, the quantity involved in individual acts of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, whether distribution or dispensing is to the same person or several persons, provided that each individual act of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to distribute was committed within the applicable statute of limitations.

Amended 1988, c.44, s.2; 1997, c.181, s.3; 1997, c.186, s.3; 2000, c.55; 2000, c.136.

2C:35-5.2 Manufacturing, etc. gamma hydroxybutyrate; penalties 3. a. Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), it shall be a crime of the second degree for any person knowingly or purposely to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense gamma hydroxybutyrate.

b. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 or any other law, a fine of up to $150,000.00 may be imposed upon a person who violates this section.

L.1997,c. 194, s.3.

2C:35-5.3 Manufacturing, etc. flunitrazepam; penalties 5. a. Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), it is unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense flunitrazepam.

b. A person who violates subsection a. of this section with respect to flunitrazepam in a quantity of one gram or more is guilty of a crime of the first degree and, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 or any other law, a fine of up to $250,000.00 may be imposed upon the person.

c. A person who violates subsection a. of this section with respect to flunitrazepam in a quantity of less than one gram is guilty of a crime of the second degree and, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 or any other law, a fine of up to $150,000.00 may be imposed upon the person.

L.1997,c. 194, s.5.

Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea

1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)

2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:

a. You will have a criminal record

b. You may go to Jail or Prison.

c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.

3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.

4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.

5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.

6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.

7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.

8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3

9. You could be put on Probation.

10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your drivers license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.

11. You may be required to do Community Service.

12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.

13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.

14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.

15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1

16. You may lose your right to vote.

The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.

Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:

If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.

NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;

(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;

(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;

(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:

a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;

(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;

b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;

(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;

If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

   
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Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal, drug offenses, and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/ municipal court tickets including drivers charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal and Driving While Suspended.

Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutors Association.

Criminal and Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court or receive points on your drivers license. An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. DMV [Division of Motor Vehicles] or have your license suspended. Don't give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal motor vehicle violations.

When your job or drivers license is in jeopardy or you are facing thousands of dollars in fines, DMV surcharges and car insurance increases, you need excellent legal representation. The least expensive attorney is not always the answer. Schedule an appointment if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter.

Our website www.njlaws.com provides information on traffic offenses we can be retained to represent people. Our website also provides details on jail terms for traffic violations and car insurance eligibility points. Car insurance companies increase rates or drop customers based on moving violations.

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