In the state of New Jersey, there are strict laws regarding drugs. These convictions can result in offenders facing significant penalties that can follow them for the rest of their life as a result. When facing these situations, the criminal justice system can often be overwhelming when people are not sure how to defend their rights. It is because of this that it is important to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney for assistance.
Federal Drug Scheduling
Many factors go into determining drug charges, including the substance. The New Jersey Drug Controlled Dangerous Substance Act categorizes drugs in accordance with Federal Drug Scheduling. This is based on the drug’s degree of danger posed by their abuse. The schedule is as follows:
- Schedule I: A high potential for abuse with either no accepted medical use or lack of safe use under medical supervision. Examples can include certain opiates and heroin. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug but has different rules. Medical marijuana legislation was passed by the state in 2010, however, recreational use is still illegal.
- Schedule II: A high potential for abuse, but have some accepted medical uses with restrictions. This can include certain opiates as well as drugs produced with coca leaves or extractions not containing cocaine.
- Schedules III through V: Have a lesser potential for abuse than Schedule I and II drugs, though usage can have a degree of physical or psychological dependence. Schedule III can include amphetamines while Schedule V drugs can include a limited quantity of narcotic drugs such as codeine combined with non-narcotic substances.
Types of Drug Offenses in New Jersey
The most common drug charges and the consequences of these offenses are as follows:
- Possession: These charges are dependent upon the amount of the drug in possession. Smaller amounts can result in charges based on personal use, while larger quantities may be seen as having the intent to distribute. Penalties for simple possession can include fines and jail time for up to five years. Larger possession can result in fines and up to 10 years in jail.
- Distribution: This is when a person gives a controlled substance to another party. Penalties can vary depending on the weight of the drugs and the location of the crime. This can include up to 20 years in jail for the most severe charges.
- Trafficking: This is when drugs are brought to New Jersey from another state. As it is the most severe drug crime, penalties can include life imprisonment without parole until the offender serves 25 years.
Contact our Firm
Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.