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An overview of drug possession laws

It is a crime to willfully posess illegal controlled substances at both the state and federal levels in the United States. Drugs that fall under this category include LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and "club drugs." All of these drugs are illegal in the state of New Jersey. There are also laws that make it illegal to possess "precursor" chemicals for manufacturing of drugs and some accessories associated with drug use. Some of those accessories include crack pipes, bongs and syringes.

There are instances when possessing certain drugs can violate both state and federal laws at the same time. In order to prove that you were in possession of the drugs, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the two following items:

-- The person knew that the drug in his or her possession was a controlled substance;

-- The person knowingly had possession of the drug or control of the drug.

There is also something known as constructive possession, which occurs when a person has access to drugs even if it wasn't in his or her specific possession at the time of being arrested. For example, a group of people are riding in a car and drugs are found under the seats. No one was technically in physical possession of the drugs, but they were found in the vehicle.

Drug possession laws fall into one of two categories; personal use, which is known as simple possession and possession with the intent to distribute. When punishing offenders with simple possession, the goal is to deter the person from using drugs in the future. The second category, possession with the intent to distribute, brings harsh penalties.

Evidence presented when trying to prosecute a possession with intent to sell case will include the presence of scales, baggies, large quantities of cash, large quantities of the drugs and potential witness statements.

Visit our site today to learn more about drug crimes in Atlantic City, New Jersey and to have all of your questions answered.

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