The word ‘drug’ has been used to refer to prescription medication as well as illegal narcotics. In this case we are talking about illegal drugs or those classified as controlled dangerous substances (CDS) by the Government.
There are two ways to describe a drug:
In New Jersey, you could find yourself facing possession charges if you are found with more than 50 grams of marijuana, narcotics (such as cocaine, acid, heroin, methamphetamines, and ecstasy), drug paraphernalia and unauthorized prescription drugs.
Each of these forms of drug possession are placed in different types of drug offenses based on the quantity and type of drug you are in possession of. They range from first degree offenses (the highest offense) to fourth degree offenses and each carries their own penalties.
Should you face charges for drug possession, the possible penalties will depend on the degree of the offense, where you were found with the drugs and what you intended to do with them. For instance drug possession in a school zone, i.e. on school property or within 1000 feet of it, can attract a fine of no more than $100,000 based on the substance as well as the potential for prison time.
Drug distribution penalties are generally higher than possession penalties. For instance, possession of marijuana carries a jail term of 18 months and a fine of between $500 and $15,000. Distribution, however, can carry a 10-year jail term and a fine of $750 - $100,000. However, it is manufacturing controlled dangerous substances that attracts more severe consequences than possession or distribution alone.
In addition to the penalties above, your driver’s license will be revoked for at least 6 months and you will pay additional penalties of between $500 and $3,000 for a mandatory program. If the substance caused someone’s death, criminal homicide charges could be leveled against you as well, and if the drug was use in a sex crime, you may be looking at an additional federal felony charge.
Drug charges are serious and can have a lasting impact on your record and your life. It is therefore important to get the best representation as soon as you are charged with this offense.
At Zapicchi & Liller we are just the people you are looking for. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with these cases and will ensure that your rights are protected as we walk you through the entire process one step at a time. So call us today for a consultation and let us help you.