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Operating a Vehicle While in Possession of CDS – N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1

Operating a Vehicle While in Possession of CDS – N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1

 

Under Title 39 of N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1, operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in the state of New Jersey while knowingly possessing a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) is prohibited. The most common controlled dangerous substance the offense is charged in conjunction with is marijuana. Under the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, the following are classified into schedules as CDS:

  • Possession of Marijuana (less than 50 grams) [N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4)]
  • Paraphernalia [N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2]
  • Prescription drugs without a valid prescription
  • Drug to treat or prevent disease (human or animal)

 

What Penalties Am I Facing?

 

Conviction of N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1 results in a fine issued by the court and a mandatory 2-year suspension of your driver’s license. As such, operating a motor vehicle while in possession of CDS is one of the most serious traffic offenses in New Jersey. Furthermore, conviction of this offense will raise the chances of increased insurance premiums.

 

Do I have any Defenses?

 

In the state of New Jersey, the state has the burden to prove that the defendant committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The state must prove that the defendant

  1. Operated a motor vehicle
  2. On a public highway
  3. While in knowing possession of CDS AND 
  4. CDS was located on the driver’s person or within the vehicle

 

An experienced attorney will refute the elements of the offense charged in order to obtain an outright dismissal or diminished penalties. An experienced attorney will fight for your rights by dismissing the ticket or merging the traffic offense with the criminal offense, if a criminal offense was also charged. Furthermore, certain defendants may receive a conditional discharge or other diversionary programs, such as Pre-trial Intervention (“PTI”), based on their eligibility.

 

What Should I Do?

 

Because operating a motor vehicle while in possession of CDS is one of the most serious traffic offenses, it should not be taken lightly. Call one of our experienced attorneys today who will zealously advocate on your behalf to reach an outright dismissal or plea bargain that may be ideal for you and your family.

 

 

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