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Possession of CDS (Drugs) in Motor Vehicle

Individuals charged with drug possession while driving are typically also charged with the motor vehicle offense of Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle.  Simply put, the act of possessing illegal drugs violates both New Jersey Criminal law and New Jersey Motor Vehicle law.  As a result, defendants face criminal and traffic consequences.

New Jersey statute 39:4-49.1 provides:

No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any highway while knowingly having in his possession or in the motor vehicle on any highway any controlled dangerous substance as classified in Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V of the “New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, ” P.L. 1970, c. 226 (C. 24:21 et seq.) or any prescription legend drug, unless the person has obtained the substance or drug from, or on a valid written prescription of, a duty licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other medical practitioner licensed to write prescriptions intended for the treatment or prevention of disease in man or animals or unless the person possesses a controlled dangerous substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner or lawfully possesses a Schedule V substance.
A person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 2 years from the date of his conviction.
As set forth in the statute, the most devastating penalty for conviction is the 2 year mandatory license suspension.  This penalty is required under the law and not subject to judicial discretion.  In other words, the Judge does not have the authority to reduce or waive the suspension.  Often, an experienced criminal defense attorney can craft a resolution whereby the companion motor vehicle charge is dismissed as part of a larger plea bargain.  However, this obviously depends on the facts of each case.

As a result of the mandatory 2 year license suspension, if you are charged with Possession of CDS in Motor Vehicle it is imperative that you are represented by a competent and experienced lawyer.  Your defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to obtain the best possible result and, if necessary, participate in a trial on your behalf.  Our law firm has extensive experience handling these types of matters and would be pleased to offer you a complimentary consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

 

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