New York City cab driver busted with heroin, hypodermic needle after Fair Lawn traffic stop
A 30-year old New York City cab driver was arrested recently in Fair Lawn after a routine traffic stop revealed he was in possession of heroin and needles. According to the NJ.com article, police stopped the defendant’s white van after he was driving erratically. The defendant stated he was coming back from dropping off a client in Paterson but he appeared “nervous and evasive”. Police found 18 wax envelopes which contained heroin in the vehicle as well as a hypodermic needle. The defendant was arrested and charged with possession of heroin and possession of a hypodermic needle. He was released with a pending court date in the Fair Lawn Municipal Court.
Heroin possession in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1) which provides in pertinent part:
§ 2C:35-10. Possession, Use or Being Under the Influence, or Failure to Make Lawful Disposition.
a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.). Any person who violates this section with respect to:
(1) A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $35,000.00 may be imposed;
A third degree crime is an indictable (felony) level offense that will be prosecuted at the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense was committed, in this case Bergen County. A third degree crime is punishable by three (3) to five (5) years in prison. If the defendant has no prior criminal history he may be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program. This would allow him to complete probation and avoid a criminal record.