The Law:

N.J.S. 39:4-49.1 relates to having a controlled dangerous substance in a car.NJ traffic ticket lawyer car drugs motor vehicle cop stop NJ lawyer Allan Marain The ticket typically describes this offense as “cds in a motor vehicle.” The law specifies that it is an offense to drive a car or other motor vehicle on any highway in New Jersey while the driver knows that a controlled dangerous substance is in the car. This law makes an exception when the person obtained the substance or drug from, or on a valid written prescription of, a medical practitioner licensed to write prescriptions. “Highway” includes any street, avenue, drive, or other road publicly maintained and open to the public.

To obtain a conviction, the prosecutor is not required to prove that anyone was smoking or ingesting the substance in the car. Indeed, the prosecutor is not required to prove that anyone ever smoked or ingested the substance.

The penalty for violating this law is a fine of $50.00 or more.


In defending against this charge, there are several issues to explore. We look at the initial stop, and the search, or other circumstances under which the police found the substance. Was it a legal, Constitutional stop? Did the police have the right to search the car? Then we turn to the requirements of the statute itself. Firstly in that regard, N.J.S. 39:4-49.1 applies only to drivers. Therefore, if the person who received this ticket was only a passenger, it will normally be possible to beat the charge. Similarly, even if the person who got the ticket was in the driver's seat, if the motor was not running, the State would have to prove that the substance was in the car at the time that the person in the driver's seat was driving the car. Thirdly, it is the burden of the State to prove that what was taken from the car was, in fact, a “controlled dangerous substance.” The NJ Criminal defense lawyer appears in Atlantic, Bergen,  Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren County. New Jersey criminal lawyer, NJ traffic ticket lawyer drugs cds.State's ability to do that should not be assumed. The scientific validity of New Jersey crime laboratory procedures is very open to challenge in court. Fourthly, the burden is on the State to prove that the driver knew that the substance was in the car. Note, however, that the person being charged need not have actually possessed the item. What N.J.S. 39:4-49.1 prohibits is merely knowing that the substance is there. Fifthly, we look at the location of the bust. If the bust was on private property, the State has the burden of proving that the defendant was previously driving the car on a public road with knowledge that the item was in the car at that time. When none of these defenses are available, or if the accused person prefers not to take his chances at trial, experienced lawyers are often able to negotiate a disposition of the charges with the prosecutor that will avoid the horrible consequences of a conviction on this offense.

You Need a Lawyer Now:

Tickets for this charge are usually issued at the same time as charges for possessing the drugs themselves. Persons charged with offenses of this nature should call a lawyer immediately. Lawyers in the Law Offices of Allan Marain are New Jersey drug lawyers who have successfully defended persons charged with offenses of this nature. They can help.

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“We, as criminal defense lawyers, are forced to deal with some of the lowest people on earth. People who have no sense of right and wrong. People who will lie in court to get what they want. People who do not care who gets hurt in the process. It is our job, our sworn duty as criminal defense lawyers, to protect our clients from those people.”

Cynthia Roseberry

“In criminal law there is only one true law, the constitution of the united states. All statutes and codes are merely the ravings of politicians.”

Counsellors at Law in the Law Offices of Allan Marain, located in New Brunswick, represent clients throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. That includes Asbury Park, Bedminster, Belleville, Bergenfield, Berkeley Heights, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Bogota, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Brick, Bridgewater, Clifton, Clinton, Closter, Cranbury, Cranford, Cresskill, Deal, Demarest, Denville, Dover, Dumont, Dunellen, East Brunswick, East Rutherford, East Windsor, Edison, Elizabeth, Emerson, Englewood, Englishtown, Ewing, Franklin Township, Freehold, Garfield, Garwood, Hackensack, Highland Park, Hillsborough, Hillsdale, Hillside, Jersey City, Kearny, Kenilworth, Lakewood, Lawrence Township, Mahwah, Manville, Marlboro, Matawan, Metuchen, Middlesex Borough, Monroe, Mountainside, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Nutley, Old Bridge, Paramus, Parsippany, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainfield, Plainsboro, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Rahway, Raritan, Readington, Red Bank, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, Robbinsville, Rockaway, Rocky Hill, Roselle, Roselle Park, Rutherford, Sayreville, Scotch Plains, Seabright, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Secaucus, Shrewsbury, Somerville, South Amboy, South Bound Brook, South Brunswick, South Orange, South Plainfield, South River, Sparta, Spotswood, Summit, Teaneck, Tenafly, Toms River, Trenton, Union, Wall, Warren, Washington, Watchung, West Windsor, Westfield, Woodbridge, and other communities in Bergen County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County. They handle criminal matters in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. They are available to handle matters in the United States Supreme Court.

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