Drug offenses can have a devastating impact on individuals and families. New Jersey has some of the strictest drug laws in the country, and even a minor drug offense can result in serious consequences.
New Jersey drug offenses are divided into two categories: possession and distribution. Possession of drugs is a crime in and of itself, while distribution is considered a more serious offense. Possession of even a small amount of drugs can result in fines, probation, and jail time.
Drug distribution offenses, on the other hand, can result in lengthy prison sentences and significant fines. The severity of the punishment is based on the type and quantity of drugs involved in the offense. A person charged with criminal distribution usually has a large number of drugs in their possession at the time of their arrest. Activities regarding illegal drugs are as follows:
- Transfer (actual or attempted)
- Import or export
Controlled substances are considered illegal drugs and are categorized into five schedules according to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The schedules group together drugs with similar addiction levels, the danger for abuse, and medicinal use. Controlled substances may include some of the following if not sold by a pharmacy:
- LSD, acid, and other hallucinogens
- Prescription painkillers
- ADHD medication
- Psychotropic prescription medications
One of the unique aspects of New Jersey drug laws is the severity of penalties for those convicted of selling drugs near schools, parks, or public housing. These areas are considered “drug-free zones,” and the penalties for drug offenses committed within them are enhanced.
New Jersey also has a drug court program that provides an alternative to traditional sentencing for non-violent drug offenders. The drug court program is designed to help individuals overcome addiction and avoid future criminal behavior. Participants in the program must attend drug treatment, counseling, and other support programs, and are subject to regular drug testing and court appearances.
Our attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Maze protect the rights of our clients and ensure that they are treated fairly under the law. In drug cases, this often means challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution, arguing for reduced charges or penalties, and advocating for alternatives to jail time, such as drug treatment or community service.
One of the most important things to understand about drug offenses in New Jersey is that they can have long-lasting consequences. A drug conviction can affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or obtain certain licenses. It can also impact your ability to get financial aid for college or graduate school.
Additionally, drug cases frequently have a stigma attached to drug addiction. Many individuals who are facing drug charges are struggling with addiction and need help, not punishment. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system is not always equipped to deal with addiction and mental health issues.
Drug Offenses in New Jersey
Drug offenses are serious matters that require the expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Andrew Maze. If you are facing drug charges, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. We can help you understand your rights, explain the potential consequences of a conviction, and develop a strategy to protect your future. Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it is important to seek help and support to overcome this disease.
This blog is intended to provide information and not to be considered legal advice.