New Jersey has some of the harshest drug possession penalties in the country. Courts and local law enforcement are proactive and aggressive towards drugs. Judges vigorously prosecute cases and hand down severe penalties for convictions. Simple possession of some drugs means a criminal record and a financial burden that can impact your life for years. If you are caught with a certain amount of a drug, you could face harsher charges of intent to distribute and sales. Those who are caught with drugs and face charges have a lot to consider about their future. Contact The Mark Law Firm, LLC to discuss your case and effectively defend your interests.
Most state drug laws are still based on the federal scheduling of drugs, with marijuana being an exception. Most states have taken a different stance on marijuana. Some have ignored federal law completely and made it legal for recreational use. Others have allowed people to use marijuana for medical purposes. New Jersey has a strict medical marijuana industry. If you are not using it for medical purposes and are facing simple possession, you could face misdemeanor charges, known in New Jersey as a disorderly person offense. Aside from marijuana, other drugs are still prosecuted using the same scheduling of drugs, some dating back 40 years from the Act’s inception. According to the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, a schedule I drug is considered the most dangerous. According to the federal government, they have no medical benefits and come with a high potential for abuse. A schedule II drug is considered less dangerous, comes with some limited medical benefits, and a high risk of abuse. A schedule III drug is considered even less dangerous, comes with medical benefits, and less potential for abuse.
According to the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, schedule IV and V drugs, including Xanax, Darvocet, Valium, Ambien, and other drugs with low amounts of codeine are considered some of the least dangerous drugs. They have consistently been used for medical purposes and come with the lowest potential for abuse.
As stated earlier, drug penalties in New Jersey and many other states correlate to their scheduling according to the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, with the exception of marijuana. A simple marijuana possession charge of under 50 grams is a disorderly person offense. A person charged with a disorderly person offense faces fines and possible jail time up to 6 months. With the help of an effective attorney, most first-offense marijuana cases can be pled down to probation and the chance for expungement. In cases related to more serious drugs, like heroin and cocaine, courts are more aggressive. Simple possession of most schedule I and II drugs, except marijuana, will be considered a felony; a “third-degree crime” in NJ. Indictable crimes come with severe fines and varying amounts of jail time. Depending on the amount of drugs you are caught with, you could face a second-degree crime with even harsher consequences. In most cases, with a clean record, a skilled attorney will have the ability to lessen the impact of the charges. Most charges depend on the amount of drugs, the location of the arrest, and whether the charges should constitute “sales”.
If you have been arrested for drug possession, intent to sell, or drug distribution charges, you have a lot to consider and serious consequences to overcome. The Mark Law Firm, LLC has years of experience helping clients who face drug charges in New Jersey. Our attorneys will explore all legal defenses to help alleviate the impact of your charges or have them dismissed altogether. We are ready to review your criminal law case and use all legal means to conclude your matter in the best possible way. If you need our quality services, contact The Mark Law Firm, LLC today.