Drug Crimes, Possession, Distribution, Manufacturing Defense Attorney

In New Jersey, the penalties for possession of a drug vary according to the type of drug and the amount of the drug in your possession, and in some cases, where even the offense occurred.

Possession of larger quantities of a drug can lead to charges of “possession with intent to distribute,” an offense that carries stiffer penalties. Also, crimes involving “controlled dangerous substance drugs” (CDS) like Cocaine, Heroin, and Ecstasy, carry stiffer penalties.

Marijuana laws, laws regarding drugs and drug crimes including drug smuggling, possession of marijuana or cocaine, or other drugs, may involve either misdemeanor or felony charges. Either way, obtaining the services of a qualified drug attorney, or the expert advice from a law firm specializing in the expertise of a qualified drug lawyer, can help provide you with the best criminal defense possible.

New Jersey Comprehensive Drug Reform Act

In July, 1987, the New Jersey Comprehensive Drug Reform Act (“Act”) became law (it was most recently amended in June, 1988.) The Act was intended to “ensure the imposition of stern, consistent punishment for all drug offenders,” and transferred all drug offenses into the Code of Criminal Justice.

Most notably, the Act added new drugs to the list of controlled substances and stiffer penalties for many types of drug charges.

Possession of “Designer Drugs”

In 1988, drugs commonly used and distributed at clubs and “raves” (late night parties) were added to the list of “controlled and dangerous substances” (CDS). Possession of these drugs can carry stiffer penalties than for non-CDS drug possession charges.

Any drug used to aid in committing a sex crime is a federal felony.

Designer drugs include:

Ecstasy (MDMA), also known on the “street” as: “E,” “X,” Adam, Designer Drug, Disco Biscuits, Ecstasy, Hug Drug, the Love Drug, Rills, and XTC. Ecstascy is a Schedule I Controlled Substance and is a Third Degree Crime in New Jersey.

GHB, also known as “the date rape drug,” Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X, Grievous Bodily Harm, Georgia Home Boy. The FDA banner GHB in 1990 and anyone who possesses, manufactures or distributes GHB could face a prison term of up to 20 years. GHB is a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

Ketamine (street names: K, Special K, Ket, Vitamin K, Kit Kat. Rohypnol: Roofies, R-2. Ketamine is a Schedule III Controlled Substance.

Drug Crimes With Stiffer Penalties

Criminal Homicide: If a person dies as a result of using a drug given by another, the giver of the drug can be charged with criminal homicide.

Drug-Free School Zones: There is a special provision in this Act if you are on any school property (elementary or secondary) or within 1000 feet of any school property or school bus or on any school bus and are convicted of distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute a “controlled or dangerous substance”, you will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000 depending upon amount of the substance you possess. During part of this term of imprisonment you would not be eligible for parole. Related Articles: New Jersey Criminal Statutes – 2C:35-7. Distribution on or within 1,000 feet of school property

School Zone Offenses Jail Time Update: Amendment to New Jersey School Zone Law – No Longer Mandatory State Prison. In January 2010, new law was passed in NJ.  Accused individuals now have sentencing options when charged with school zone offenses. If you or a family member has been charged with a school zone offense or have recently been sentenced on a school zone offense, contact the law firm of William D. Ware today. Our experience can let you know whether your case qualifies for a probationary sentence and whether your case can be challenged on other legal grounds.

Drug Offenses in General: New Jersey law has a mandatory penalty of loss of, or postponement of driving privileges of at least 6 months upon conviction of many drug offenses. You can also lose your driving privileges for the possession of drug paraphernalia including as pipes, sifters, spoons.

Manufacturing of Drugs: Penalties were made harsher under the Act to impose “stern punishment for persons involved in illegal manufacture of drugs.”

Drug Distribution: If a person distributes a drug to a minor (under the age of 17) or a pregnant female, there is a stiffer penalty.

Controlled Dangerous Substances: The law allows the State of New Jersey to confiscate a motor vehicle in which any “controlled dangerous substance” is found, no matter how small the amount.

Potential Penalties for Drug Crime Convictions in New Jersey

Simple possession, use or being under the influence of:

Marijuana: 0-18 months in jail and a fine of $500 to $15,000
Cocaine/Crack Cocaine: 3-5 years in jail and a fine of $1000 to $25,000
Speed: same as cocaine
Psilocybin and LSD: same as cocaine

Use or possession with intent to distribute:

Marijuana: 0-10 years in jail and a fine of $750 to $100,000
Cocaine/Crack Cocaine: 3-20 years in jail (with a 3-5 year mandatory sentence with no parole if amount exceeds 5 oz.) and a fine of $1000 to $300,000
Speed: 3-10 years in jail and a fine of $1000 to $100,000
Psilocybin and LSD: 3-5 years in jail and a fine of $2000 to $300,000

In addition to the above penalties, if you are convicted of any drug offense or enter into a drug diversionary program you must pay an additional mandatory penalty ranging from $500 to $3000 and a mandatory $50 laboratory charge.

William D. Ware, Esq., is a former prosecutor with extensive experience in the defense and prosecution of drug crimes.  From your initial consultation through the final resolution of your case, our office will prepare and investigate thoroughly and utilize our trial skills to focus on obtaining a “not guilty” verdict for you.

Contact our office in Chester, New Jersey, to discuss your matter with a free consultation with William D. Ware, Esq., a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, right away.