In the state of New Jersey, under Title 39 of N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1, Operating a Vehicle While in Possession of CDS is a serious offense that carries hefty penalties. If you have received this summons, do not worry. You are not alone. Operating a Vehicle While in Possession of CDS is not an uncommon offense. But, if not taken care of properly, there may be a need to worry. 

Given that, here are 5 things you should know about CDS in a motor vehicle arrest or conviction.


1. What is CDS?

CDS is defined as “controlled dangerous substance.” You are probably curious to know what is classified as CDS in the state of New Jersey. The following category of drugs may lead to an arrest for possession and a citation for Operating a Vehicle While in Possession of CDS if possessed while driving on a public highway;


  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • MDMA
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription Drugs


Unfortunately, although Marijuana has statistically proven to be less dangerous than alcohol, it is still considered a controlled dangerous substance in the State of New Jersey. The most common drug associated with the offense of operating a motor vehicle while in possession of CDS is in fact Marijuana. At AMS Law, we will do everything in our power to get your charges completely dismissed or amended to a lower violation.


2. What happens if I get arrested for CDS in a motor vehicle?

Operating a vehicle While in Possession of CDS usually comes in conjunction with some type of possession charge. Although Operating a Vehicle While in Possession of CDS is a traffic violation, it is criminal in nature.

A driver is cited this ticket after CDS is found on either the driver’s person or in his/her car. As such, this citation usually comes after a search and seizure. Even though it is a ticket issued to the driver by a police officer, the driver is also arrested for possessing the CDS in the first place.

A driver is usually placed under arrest, booked, and then issued traffic citation(s) in which he/she must appear in court for. We will appear in court with you on your behalf and defend you to the fullest extent of the law.


3. What Penalties am I Facing?

The penalties for a conviction of Operating a Motor Vehicle While in Possession of CDS are extreme. If you are found guilty or convicted of this offense, you are subject to the following;

  • 2-year suspension of your driving privileges
  • A fine of not less than $50
  • A much higher risk of increased insurance premiums


4. Am I facing separate penalties for both the criminal charges and for operating a motor vehicle while in possession of CDS?

The answer to this question is yes. However, at AMS Law, we may assist you in reducing the penalties or even outright dismissing any charges and citations issued against you collectively. Moreover, based on your eligibility, you may be eligible for a conditional discharge or other diversionary programs, such as Pre-trial Intervention (“PTI”). If so, all the offenses will be merged together and completely dismissed upon successful completion of a probationary period.


5. Do I have any defenses I can use in my favor?

Remember, in order to be convicted of this citation, the state has the burden to prove you committed this offense “beyond a reasonable doubt.” To be convicted, the vehicle must have been operated on a public highway, and not parked. **Moreover, certain rules of evidence and procedure for police officers to search your vehicle must be followed in order for your constitutional rights to be protected. DO NOT FEAR AND GET AHEAD OF THE CHARGE.


Attorneys Sarofiem & Antoun will zealously advocate any defenses available to you on your behalf. Remember, avoiding the problem does not solve it. Let us help you solve it. Call us now at 201-792-3333 for your FREE no obligation consultation.



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