The state of New Jersey takes drug convictions very seriously. Those charged with drug crimes can face harsh penalties that can impact the rest of their lives. The criminal justice system can be overwhelming to those who do not know how to fight for their rights, which is why it is important to have an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney on your side.
Federal Drug Scheduling
There are many factors that comprise the severity of drug charges, including the type of substance in question. The New Jersey Drug Controlled Dangerous Substance Act categorizes drugs into schedules based on federal guidelines. The guidelines are determined by the degree of inherent danger posed by their abuse. The schedule is as follows:
- Schedule I ― These substances have a high potential for abuse with either no accepted medical use or are lacking safe use under medical supervision. Examples can include certain opiates and heroin. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug but has different rules.
- Schedule II ― These substances also have a high potential for abuse, but they 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 ― These substances have a lesser potential for abuse than Schedule I and II drugs. However, usage can have some degree of physical or psychological dependence. Amphetamines are included in Schedule III 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 that are seen in New Jersey include possession, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute. The consequences for these offenses are as follows:
- Possession: The severity of possession charges varies depending on the quantity of the possessed drug. Penalties for simple possession can include fines as well as jail time ranging up to five years.
- Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute: When a person passes a controlled substance to another party, whether for sale or to share, it is considered distribution. When a person possesses a quantity of drugs that is for the purpose of distribution at a future date, the offense is called possession with intent to distribute. Penalties following conviction depend on the weight of the drugs and what drug is in question. Convictions can result in 20 years in jail for the most severe charges.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know was charged with a drug crime and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact REM Katcher Law Group P.C. today.