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Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq.

Fines and Penalties in Drug Possession Cases

By JWGLAWYER on August 31, 2016

When the people of East Brunswick are charged with a crime, they can count on the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq. to be there for them. Our law firm wants to ensure that everyone receives a fair hearing and that their legal rights and Constitutional protections are observed.

Having an experienced drug crime defense attorney is crucial, especially given the fines, prison sentences, and other penalties related to possession. Let's take a moment to look at New Jersey laws regarding drugs and drug possession.

Classification of Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)

There are different categorizations of drugs under New Jersey law. Let's consider each briefly according to state CDS schedules.

  • Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances - The substance has high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use. Examples include: marijuana, heroin, LSD, MDMA, hash.

  • Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substances - The substance has a high potential for abuse and has currently accepted medical use in the United States with severe restrictions. Examples include: cocaine, crack, uppers, PCP, methamphetamine.

  • Schedule III Controlled Dangerous Substances - The substance has a potential for abuse less than the substances listed in Schedule I and II and has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Examples include: Xanax, valium, codeine, steroids, morphine.

  • Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substances - The substance has low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule III and has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Examples include: downers, roofies, Ambien, Z-bars.

  • Schedule V Controlled Dangerous Substances - The substance has low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV and has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Examples include: small amounts of codeine, opium, diphenoxylate.

As you notice, schedule I CDS are considered the most serious, while schedule V CDS are classified as the least serious (relatively speaking).

Strict Mandatory Minimums in New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, judges enforce mandatory minimums when a person is charged with a drug crime. This means that minimum penalties and sentences must be levied, regardless of any mitigating factors.

Drug Possession Fines and Penalties

As you can imagine, the fines and penalties for drug possession vary based on the CDS schedule.

For a schedule I, II, III, or IV CDS, fines can add up to as much as $35,000; prison time can range from 3 to 5 years. For a schedule V CDS, fines can add up to $15,000, with prison time of up to 18 months.

Drug Possession Near a School Property

In addition to the other fines and penalties, we should also note that additional punishment may be levied if a person is found in possession of drugs within 1,000 feet of a school property. Violators will also face 100 hours of community service.

Drug Possession with the Intent to Distribute

While the CDS schedule will have some bearing on overall fines and penalties, they can be quite severe. If found with less than 1 oz, prison time is typically 18 months with a fine of $25,000/ For more than 1 oz and less than 5 pounds, prison time can range from 3 to 5 years with a fine of $25,000. For 5 pounds to less than 25 pounds, prison time can range from 5 to 10 years with a fine of $150,000. For more the 25 pounds, prison time ranges from 10 to 20 years with a fine of $300,000.

Learn More About Your Rights in Drug Cases

For more information about your legal options in drug cases, it's important that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney today. The team at the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq. are here to help you in your time of legal need.

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