Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle
In New Jersey, a charge of Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) in a motor vehicle, N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1, is a serious matter with severe consequences. In addition to other penalties, this charge subjects the driver to a mandatory 2 year loss of license if convicted.
Often possession of CDS in a motor vehicle charges result from a standard and lawful traffic stop and many times the driver is unaware the CDS are in the vehicle until the stop occurs. Typically, if a police officer suspects there are CDS in a motor vehicle once they pull it over, the officer will separate the occupants of the vehicle and ask questions such as where they came from, what they did there, where they’re going and what they intend to do there in order to see if the stories match. The more the stories vary, the more likely it is a search will be conducted for CDS.
What is a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS)?
CDS includes any and all illegal drugs such as heroin, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and other recreational drugs as well as prescription drugs for which you do not have a valid prescription from a licensed physician.
To Obtain a Conviction for Possessing CDS in a Motor Vehicle, What Must the State Prove?
- The driver operated the motor vehicle on a roadway;
- The driver knowingly possessed the CDS
- The CDS were on the driver’s person or within the vehicle.
Although the State is required to prove the elements of the statute as set forth above, the police can levy charges against you for CDS in a motor vehicle in a public or private parking lot as well as a roadway and the driver can be charged with CDS in a motor vehicle even if the drugs are on the person of a passenger, as long as they can prove the driver knew the drugs were in the car. Although the drugs may belong to the passenger, only the driver will be charged with possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, although the passenger may be charged with possession.
There Are Ways To Challenge Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle
- Did the police have probable cause to stop your vehicle?
- If the vehicle or occupants were searched:
- Was the search constitutionally valid?
- Was any evidence properly collected?
- Who handled the evidence between the collection and the lab test?
- Who did the lab test?
- Were you properly informed of your rights?
- Can you prove you had a valid prescription for the CDS?
Do Not Assume the State Can Prove Guilt
We will immediately obtain the evidence the police intend to use against you and begin building your defense. Whenever possible we will file motions to suppress evidence and attempt to obtain a dismissal of all charges based on challenges to the search, evidence spoilation, lack of probable cause to stop the vehicle and any other issues validly raised.
Resolving Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle Charges Throughout Northern NJ
In order to serve clients throughout Northern New Jersey we have offices in Morris County and Bergen County, New Jersey. We serve clients in Morris, Sussex, Warren, Bergen, Passaic Union, Hudson and Essex Counties. The Darling Law Firm is your Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle law firm.
To immediately begin to protect your rights, call 973-584-6200 now and schedule an appointment to meet with an attorney who will help you.
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