You should retain an attorney for this matter. The prosecutor and judge are not there to assist you. If you cannot afford a lawyer, then you should apply for the public defender. Based on what you are saying, you should be eligible for a conditional discharge. Feel free to contact my office for a consultation.
James A. Abate, Esq.
You are presently charged with a 3rd degree felony. In Ocean County this may or may not be downgraded to Municipal Court. It usually depends on the amount of the CDS. You should speak to an attorney familiar with Ocean or Lakewood and criminal defense. You must first determine if there are any defenses to the case, the chances of success and all other options. An attorney may be able to influence whether the case is downgraded or not. You are eligible for both PTI ( in Superior Court) and a CD (in Municipal Court). All of these options and programs and their relative effect on you record should be discussed before you decide on a course of action. My office offers a free telephone consultation as do many of my colleagues. Call one of us and go from there. 908-687-6650.
The charge as you listed it, 2C:35-10a(1), is a third-degree crime for possession of CDS and is handled in the Superior Court. You face up to 3-5 years in prison, probation, community service, and large fines if convicted. However, if this is your first offense you may be eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention that could result in the dismissal of your case. It is also possible that you have defenses, such as filing a motion to suppress evidence, but more information is needed to determine that. It may also be possible to have the charges downgraded to municipal court where you would be facing smaller fines and less jail time. You need to hire an attorney as soon as possible. You may contact me for a free consultation.
This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is based only on the limited information provided in the question.
The above comments about what you are facing and the possibility of pretrial intervention (PTI) are correct. You should seek a lawyer, whether private or public defender. Feel free to contact my office at 732-212-2812 for a free initial consultation. All the best.