Similar to the classifications provided by the federal government of the United States, the state of New Jersey designates different drugs under a system of schedules, with Schedule V drugs having the least potential for harm and Schedule I drugs being the most dangerous. And of course, to accompany the different schedules of drugs, there are varying severities of penalties, depending on the type of drug and the amount possessed, as well as a few other factors. However, all drug offenses carry a mandatory license suspension.

If you face drug charges in New Jersey, it is important to understand the nature of the different offenses, as well as the impact they potentially could have on your future.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

If an individual was in possession of a drug that falls into one of the schedules in New Jersey, then he or she may face charges under Section 2C:35 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. The same section also applies if any individual was under the influence of the substance at the time, or if he or she failed to place the substance lawfully in the care of an appropriate party.

Upon conviction of possessing a Schedule V drug, the same individual can face a fine of up to $15,000 and is considered to have committed a crime of the fourth degree, which can carry a jail term of up to 18 months.

Being convicted of possessing a drug classified under Schedule IV, III, II or I may warrant a fine of up to $35,000. This is then considered a third-degree crime, which can yield a prison term of three to five years.

Manufacturing or Dispensing a Controlled Substance

Along with simple drug possession, it is possible to be charged with the crime of manufacturing or dispensing a controlled substance. Section 2C:35 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice specifies that an individual can be convicted of the crime if they “create, distribute or possess…with intent to distribute the drug.”

Again, the penalties for this conviction can range, depending on the classification of the drug, as well as the amount, but they can be extremely severe. Possession of more than one ounce (but less than five pounds) of marijuana is considered a third-degree crime, punishable by three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. The distribution or manufacturing of heroin, however, is a first-degree crime that can carry a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years, with the possibility of a fine of up to $500,000.

The Attorneys at Dash Farrow LLP Can Help You

There are a variety of other specifics that can alter the nature of a drug offense, all of which can have significant penalties. And if you face drug charges in New Jersey, please don’t hesitate to contact the criminal defense attorneys at Dash Farrow LLP. We can help you understand the nature of your charges and advise you on the best action to take. You can reach us today at 856-235-8300 or via our contact form.