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Is it imperative that I have a lawyer for my first offense of 'Possession of a CDS?'

North Wildwood, NJ |

Recently, I was out with some people and one of them offered me cocaine. I went into the bathroom with a very small amount and before any of it was even consumed, a bouncer came busting through the door and brought me out to the police. I was charged with possession of cocaine, my very first arrest. Is it vital that I seek a lawyer or can I handle the necessary procedures by myself?

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Attorney answers 7


Possession of cocaine is a felony and you potentially face prison time. You would be crazy to think that you can handle this yourself. You absolutely need to hire a lawyer to represent you.

John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm Beach County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.


This is a 3rd degree felony. A lawyer is highly recommended.


I highly advise you to consult with an attorney. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 (which im assuming you were charged with) has some pretty harsh penalties.

simple possession of cocaine or crack is generally a third degree offense. A third degree offense carries a maximum term of incarceration of five (5) years. A presumption against incarceration exists, however, where an individual has no prior indictable convictions.

You may be eligible for PTI but you need to contact an attorney to determine this.

my office is 15 minutes from Wildwood, give me a call if you'd like, or contact one of the many attorneys on AVVO.

The Law Office of Brandon D. Walcott - 3 Harrys Court, Suite A, Ocean View, NJ - (609) 390-8888 - This is for general purposes only and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney licensed in your State for specific inquiries.


I strongly urge you to consult a lawyer. If you plead guilty to the offense, you will have a criminal record. Most NJ cocaine possession arrests are for simple possession (3rd degree). If convicted of a third degree offense in New Jersey, the defendant faces up to five years in jail. The reality is that most first time drug possession offenders will never see the inside of a jail cell, as there is a presumption against incarceration for third degree offenses. Moreover, there is a deferred adjudication program in New jersey called Pre-trial Intervention. In most first offense cocaine possession cases, the defendant will have an opportunity to apply for this program. If accepted into the program, the individual will be placed on probation for a period of time, typically one year. If the defendant completes the probation successfully, the charges will be dismissed. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can review the facts of your particular case to determine your eligibility and take the steps necessary to get you into this program and keep a conviction off your record. Please call if you have any questions.

It should be understood that even though I am answering your question, no attorney-client relationship exists between us. It should be further understood that while I am doing my best to answer your question based upon the information you provided, I do not have the complete facts and my answer might well be different, if I had more complete information. For these reasons, it is always best to consult either in person or by telephone with a lawyer and discuss your issues in detail.


Get a lawyer right away. If you can't afford one, the court will appoint one. This is serious, you should not try to defend yourself. Good luck.

I have been licensed to practice in the State of Oregon since 1990. I am not offering legal advice regarding your question, only general information regarding the law. You are not my client nor am I your attorney unless we sign a retainer agreement.


Once again my learned colleagues are correct. This is quite serious. Call a lawyer ASAP.

Benjamin G. Kelsen IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER PLEASE INDICATE YOUR APPRECIATION BY SELECTING IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Law Offices of Benjamin G. Kelsen, Esq. LLC 179 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666 Phone: 201-692-0073/ Fax: 201-692-0151 Web Site: / Email: NOT LEGAL ADVICE: The above information may contain an opinion which does not constitute legal advice. Unless a retainer agreement has been signed, we are not your legal representatives, and you should not rely on any opinions contained in this message.


You do not face jail time but you do face a record that may impede your career or future employment. The matter will likely, but not necessarily, be downgraded to municipal court even though it is a felony on its face. An attorney can help that decision along. An attorney can also evaluate the case to determine if there is a defense. Chain of custody may be an issue. The bouncer may be gone by the time the case rolls around. Many factors. Call an attorney for a free consultation and go over your options.

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