Drug Distribution Lawyer in New Jersey
South Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Represents Clients Charged with Drug Distribution or Manufacturing in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, Atlantic, Salem, Mercer, and Cape May County, NJ
Drug crimes that involve manufacturing and/or distributing illegal or controlled substances can have very serious consequences in the state of the New Jersey. What degree a defendant will be charged with and how serious the penalties will be depend highly on what and how much of a substance is involved in these types of drug crimes. Whether you are being charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled medicine like Adderall or Xanax or are being charged with the manufacture of heroin, having a quality drug crime defense attorney like Jill R. Cohen can make a huge difference during your court trial. Contact our New Jersey law office today to get a free consultation on your drug crime case.
New Jersey State Drug Law Statutes and Schedules
Under N.J.S.CA. 2C:35-5, New Jersey state law prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, or dispensation of medication and controlled dangerous substances. It is also illegal to be caught in possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute them to others. What degree someone will be charged with in regards to drug distributions depends on the substance and the amount involved in the specific case. Under these factors, one will be charged with either a first, second, third, or fourth degree criminal charge for distribution or intent to distribute.
Important key terms you need to know as defined in section 2C:35-2 of the New Jersey Statutes:
- “Deliver” or “delivery” means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled dangerous substance, whether or not there is a relationship between both parties.
- “Dispense” means to deliver a controlled dangerous substance (CBS) to a final user or research subject by anyone other than a licensed practitioner, including the prescribing, administering, packaging, labeling, or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for said delivery.
- “Distribute” means to deliver other than by administering or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.
- “Manufacture” means the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled dangerous substance, either directly or by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis. This can include just packaging or repackaging the substance in question as well.
Different Types of Drugs Involved in New Jersey Drug Crimes and Their Resulting Criminal Degree Classifications and Penalties Following a Guilty Verdict in Salem County
Heroin and Cocaine Distribution
Both heroin and cocaine are subject to the same grading regarding drug distribution charges. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, an offense involving 5 ounces or more is classified as a first degree crimes in New Jersey. A conviction for 1st degree distribution of heroin or cocaine is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a monetary fine of up to $500,000. In addition, a person must serve 1/3 to 1/2 of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.
When the quantity involved is between 1/2 ounce and 5 ounces, this is considered to be a second degree crime punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $150,000. Offenses involving less than 1/2 ounce are graded as third degree crimes, resulting in a prison term of up to 5 years and up to a $75,000 fine.
Dispensing Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
A person who is dispensing Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is subject to a third degree crime. Since LSD is a Schedule I drug and you could end up facing 3 to 5 years of prison time if convicted. You could also face a fine up to $15,000.00 per statute. However, since this is a third degree charge, you would be eligible to possibly avoid incarceration. This will depend on your previous criminal record, and what other crimes you may be charged with.
Distributing methamphetamine (meth) or possession of meth with intent to distribute is considered a first degree crime if the quantity is 5 ounces or more. If the amount is between 1/2 ounce and 5 ounces, the crime is considered a second degree crime.
Selling and Growing Marijuana
Marijuana, unlike most other drugs, can be grown in one’s own backyard, so criminal charges can occur simply for growing the plant itself. A first degree charge applies to marijuana distribution involving 25 pounds or more, or growing 50 or more marijuana plants. In addition to a 20-year maximum prison term, you may be hit with a $300,000 fine. For a second degree crime, the amount of marijuana must fall between 5 pounds and 25 pounds or the person must be accused of growing between 10 and 50 plants.
If the crime involves only between 5 grams and 1 pound, this is considered to be a third degree crime. Third degree crimes are typically punishable by a 3 to 5-year prison sentence and this specific offense may also result in up to $25,000 in fines. Lastly, marijuana distribution or possession with intent is considered a fourth degree crime when the measured weight is less than 1 ounce. Fourth degree marijuana distribution is punishable by up to 18 months in NJ State Prison.
Prescription Medication Distribution
Distribution of any other controlled dangerous substance in Schedule I (such as benzethidine), II (such as fentanyl), III (such as amphetamines) or IV (such as Barbital), or its analog, is a third degree crime. Any Schedule V substance (such as codeine, bath salts, or certain types of opium) will usually result is a fourth degree charge.
If you are accused of distributing any other drug contained in Schedule I and II that is not expressly referred to in N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-5, the quantities and their crime level are as follows:
- More than 1 ounce: 2nd degree crime
- Less than 1 ounce: 3rd degree crime
Being Convicted of a Distribution or Manufacturing Drug Crime in Camden County, New Jersey
In order to be convicted of a drug distribution or manufacturing crime, the prosecution must be able to provide quality evidence and convince a jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. One does not need to be financially benefiting to be convicted of one of these drug crimes. If you get involved in another person’s drug crimes and are caught simply delivering a package to another part, it can be considered worthy of drug crime conviction.
It is important to note that simply being in possession of drug packaging materials can be enough to push a guilty verdict in New Jersey criminal court. This can include items such as scales and certain measuring devices, cutting agents, baggies, needles, etc. Any of these items can lead to a charge of intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced and Dedicated New Jersey Drug Crime Defense Attorney Today
Regardless of the type or amount of a drug you have been charged with distributing or manufacturing, a quality New Jersey drug crime attorney can make all the difference. Many times innocent parties can get pulled or guilted into the criminal acts and behaviors of friends and loved ones. Jill R. Cohen understands the commonality of these situations and the severity of penalties that a client would face upon a guilty verdict. She will use her many decades of experience and skill as both a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor to fully prepare for any in-court scenario and can help you get a more optimal outcome. Contact the law offices of Jill Cohen to get the proper legal defense you deserve. Jill Cohen has been serving criminal defendants throughout South Jersey in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, Pennsauken, Voorhees, Lindenwold, Haddon Township, Collingswood and Haddonfield.