Use and Simple Possession of Methamphetamine

Much like crack cocaine about 25 or 30 years ago, the abuse of methamphetamine has been singled out by governmental authorities because of this drug’s pernicious effects. If you are caught with meth, you could be facing serious drug charges and the use or possession of even a small amount of meth can result in severe criminal penalties.

The penalties for the possession of methamphetamine often depend upon on the amounts of the drug involved:

  • Possessing less than half an ounce is a third-degree felony;
  • Possession of 1/2 an ounce to five ounces is a second-degree felony, and
  • Possession of over five ounces is a third-degree felony, with escalating prison sentences and fines for each.

Because meth is such an addictive substance, though, the possession of even small amounts of this drug may result in a charge of “intent to distribute,” especially if the methamphetamine in question has already been “portioned out” in pills or packets. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help to defend you against unfair charges of meth distribution when all you’re guilty of, at most, is simple possession.

About Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine—also known as speed, crystal, crank, and ice—is a chemical that has a near-immediate effect on the central nervous system when it’s snorted, smoked or injected. As its most common name, “speed,” implies, methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant, which produces feelings of euphoria and boundless energy in most users until the inevitable crash, which often triggers the desire to smoke more meth.

Unlike cocaine, LSD, and other controlled substances, methamphetamine can be “cooked” (manufactured) in home laboratories from over-the-counter medications like Sudafed and Vicks, through a highly combustible process that itself claims many lives each year from meth-lab explosions and fires.

Methamphetamine abusers often show a distinct mixture of agitation, paranoia, and various bodily “tics.” Based on this distinct set of symptoms, in the state of New Jersey, police are empowered to arrest individuals who exhibit common signs of being high on meth.

In New Jersey, the increased community focus on methamphetamine abuse means that possession of more than half an ounce of this drug will often result in a charge of “intent to distribute,” which carries more severe penalties than simple use or possession.

In the state of New Jersey, there are a bewildering array of statutes that mandate increased penalties for the use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs in various vicinities. For example, if you have been caught using or carrying methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus, or within 500 feet of a housing project or public park, a simple charge of possession can escalate into something much more serious, involving increased fines and mandatory jail time. Because schools, parks and housing projects tend to pile up on one another in the inner city, it’s easy to get caught up in big trouble even from “simple,” one-time, first-offense amphetamine use.

Use of Methamphetamine

As a general rule, the use of methamphetamine is treated much more seriously in the state of New Jersey than the use of most other illegal drugs (such as marijuana.) This is because individuals under the influence of meth tend to be “wired up” rather than sedated, and are more prone to commit violent crimes like armed robbery or assault or to simply to make nuisances of themselves in public.

Since meth abusers have such a distinctive profile, police will often arrest meth users based on their behavior alone. If you’ve been apprehended for the use of methamphetamine, the drug defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will do their best to have the charges reduced or dismissed (which may entail completing a probationary period or submitting to drug counseling.)