Intent to Sell in Hackensack
Defend Against Your Drug Charge in Bergen County
At the Law Office of Louis G. DeAngelis, LLC, the firm understands the impact that intent to sell can have on an individual’s life. Attorney Louis G. DeAngelis works one-on-one with his clients to craft a defense against their charges. He will provide the in-depth legal counsel clients need and deserve on their case.
What Is Intent to Sell?
In New Jersey, individuals can be charged with drug distribution or trafficking merely for their intent to do so. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 establishes, “It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely…to create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.” Admissible evidence for having an intent to distribute drugs could be if a person possesses a digital scale, large amounts of baggies, lists of retail distributors, or other evidence.
Intent to sell can be termed “drug possession with intent to sell” or “drug distribution” and often take a great deal of investigation. Since the law does not specifically define what “intent” actually means, this can often be a good point that a defend attorney can argue in court. Prosecution may attempt to prove that the amount of the drug in possession was far too much for personal use and therefore was going to be sold, or there may be a witness to the exchange of the drug for money or other items.
What are the Penalties and Sentencing for Possession with Intent to Sell?
When it comes to penalties in New Jersey, there is no distinction between actually selling drugs and possession with intent to distribute. The type of punishment a person can face depends on the type of drug in question and the amount intended to sell.
The sentencing for intent to sell is the same as the sentencing for drug distribution, which takes into account the weight of any adulterants or dilutants. Heroin or cocaine offenses are classified by the following:
5 oz. or more – first degree crime punishable by 10-20 years in prison
0.5 oz. to 5 oz. – second degree offense punishable by 5-10 years in prison
Less than 0.5 oz. – third degree crime punishable by 3-5 years in prison
Schedule I or II narcotics are classified under the following penalties:
1 oz. or more – second degree offense punishable by 5-10 years in prison
Less than 1 oz. – third degree crime punishable by 3-5 years in prison
Intent to sell methamphetamine calls for the following:
5 oz. or more – first degree crime carrying 10-20 years in prison
0.5 oz. to 5 oz. – second degree offense carrying 5-10 years in prison
Less than 0.5 oz. – third degree crime with 5-10 years in prison
Distribution of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) will warrant 5-10 years in prison (a second degree offense) for an amount less than 100 milligrams or where the amount is undetermined.
Lastly, the classification for marijuana includes:
25 lbs. or more, 50 or more plants, or more than 5 lbs. of hashish/concentrate: first degree crime punishable by 10-20 years in prison and/or $300,000 in fines
5 lbs. to 25 lbs., 10-50 plants, or 1 lb. to 5 lbs. of hashish/concentrate – second degree offense punishable by 5-10 years in jail and/or $150,000 in fines
1 oz. to 5 lbs. or 5 g. to 1 lbs. of hashish/concentrate – third degree crime carrying 3-5 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
Less than 1 oz. or less than 5 g. of hashish/concentrate – fourth degree crime punishable by 1.5 years in jail and/or $25,000 in fines
Be aware that an individual may face enhanced penalties for intent to sell within a school zone. If the marijuana distribution occurred within 1,000 feet of a school zone, the defendant could possible face an additional 3-5 years in prison and/or $150,000 in fines.
Note: that penalties are not diminished by the fact that it may be a person’s first offense; a first-time charge of selling drugs can still result in being sent to jail. However, a first-time offender may be eligible for a diversionary program (Pre-Trial Intervention or Conditional Discharge) to avoid conviction, depending on the level of charge and other circumstances. There are strict conditions that a defendant must meet to be considered eligible for a diversionary program. With some exceptions, an individual must not have prior convictions and cannot be on probation or parole. Each program is customized for the individual based on the offense and their needs for recovery, which may include counseling, community service, probation, and drug testing. Those who successfully complete their programs can have the charges against them dropped and thus no permanent mark on their criminal record.
Can My Conviction be Expunged?
Some convictions for intent to sell drugs in the state are eligible for expungement only if they have third or fourth degree indictable drug offenses, provided they meet all other necessary criteria:
- Individuals must wait 6 years after the completion of any sentencing and pay off their fines before applying.
- The applicant also cannot have more than 3 disorderly persons offenses on their criminal record
- The drug distribution charge must be the only indictable conviction.
Seek an Experienced Drug Crimes Lawyer
If convicted of intent to sell illicit drugs, an individual may face a range of consequences depending on the type of drug in question, the amount of the drug, and any other situations like whether a weapon was involved. Attorney Louis G. DeAngelis will explore a variety of defenses for your specific situation, whether it involves street drugs or the alleged misuse of prescription medications.
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