There are a number of different drug-related charges that New Jersey residents could face should they be accused of having a certain amount of drugs in their possession. While the most common charges include possession or intent to distribute, a person can potentially be charged with both at the same time or for conspiring to possess or distribute illegal substances.
When people are charged with possession, they are being accused of being in control of drugs. This does not mean that they had to physically have the drugs on them, as the drugs may be recovered from their personal property or in their homes. They, however, must have had knowledge or should have known that they possessed or controlled the possession of illegal substances. In order to be charged with intent to distribute, authorities must be able to prove that the person was planning on selling the drugs or otherwise transfer possession to someone else.
If a person is charged with possession with intent to distribute, authorities must prove that the person was intending to sell or distribute illegal substances but also had an amount of drugs that were intended for personal use. If the person did not have the drugs in their possession but was intending to sell once they obtained the drugs, they could also be potentially charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute.
The penalties for drug possession or distribution depends on the amount of drugs the person had and whether or not they have a prior criminal history. However, a criminal defense attorney may argue that the client had no knowledge or could not have had knowledge that they were in possession of illegal substances.