The State of New Jersey has established a long list of drug charges and is strict regarding drug offenses. There are several punishments for drug convictions and a wide range of possible drug offenses. Among the potential penalties are a driver’s license suspension and lengthy prison terms. Even if you are not the person possessing the illicit narcotics, a possession charge may result if drugs are discovered in your automobile. Contacting Lento Law Firm in such situations is a good idea.
Is a Warrant Required for a New Jersey Police Officer to Search Your Car?
According to the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment rights, people are shielded from arbitrary searches and seizures. In New Jersey, police must typically have a warrant to search or have reasonable suspicion before looking through someone’s belongings. However, there is a waiver specified in state law for automobiles.
When a traffic stop is made, the state granted law enforcement authorities in 2015 the ability to legally perform a warrantless investigation of a “readily mobile” vehicle if there is “probable cause” to believe there are narcotics or other contraband within. However, people can avoid having to consent to have their automobiles searched.
What charges are you subject to if drugs are discovered in your car?
An individual will probably be charged with one or more narcotic possession offenses if drugs are discovered in their vehicle. The type and amount of drugs found will determine how serious the charges brought against you for possessing controlled substances will be in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, restricted dangerous substances (CDS) are divided into five “Schedules” based on the likelihood that they may be abused. For example, a Schedule I substance is seen to have the most potential for abuse, whereas a Schedule V medication has the lowest potential.
The more narcotics discovered in the automobile, the more severe the prosecution would be. Smaller amounts can be considered an unruly person offense, while higher amounts are considered felonies.
What happens if the drugs discovered in the vehicle are not yours?
This is a typical occurrence when drugs are discovered, especially if you carry many passengers. Everyone in the vehicle, including those sitting in the back of the car, will likely be detained for drug possession if the authorities discover any drugs.
What to do if Drugs Are Discovered in Your Car and You Are Arrested?
Even if you did not do anything wrong and the narcotics were not yours, it is crucial to maintain your composure if police discover narcotics in your vehicle and you are detained. You might quickly make matters worse and face extra charges if you argue or struggle with the arresting cops. You will gain more in the long term if you maintain your composure.