Have you been arrested for a drug related offense in Newark NJ. Depending on the nature of the offense, i.e. the type of drugs involved and the quantity, your case will be heard in either the Superior or Municipal Courts. Typically the municipal court will only have jurisdiction over disorderly persons drug related offenses, i.e, offenses involving less than 50 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of a CDS, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, loitering/wandering crimes, etc. Disorderly persons drug charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 6 months in jail and $1000 fine.
If you have been arrested for possession of most other drugs, including cocaine, heroine, prescription pills, etc., or you had more than 50 grams of marijuana, or you are facing drug distribution charges, you may be facing indictable criminal charges. In New Jersey, more serious criminal offenses are called indictable offenses. Most states refer to these crimes as felony crimes.
Procedurally speaking, your complaint will originate out of the municipality where the offense is alleged to have taken place. Even if you are facing indictable charges, your complaint will provide a date for you to appear in the municipal court. However, you may also receive a notice to appear in the Essex County Superior Court Central Judicial Processing Unit (CJP). If you are facing indictable charges you will probably have to appear in one place or the other, but not both. If you are facing a disorderly persons drug offense you will have to appear only in the municipal court.
PLEASE BE AWARE, the initial stages of a criminal drug offense case in Essex County can be very, very confusing for the criminal defendant. First appearances and initial court dates are poorly organized by the courts and result in the accused having to make unnecessary and time-consuming appearances. It is best to contact a Newark New Jersey and Essex County NJ Drug crimes attorneys he knows the court system. This will help you avoid some of the initial confusion and also ensure that your rights are protected