Defending Clients Against Drug Possession Charges

New Jersey has some of the toughest drug possession laws in the United States. Law enforcement is aggressive and courts actively prosecute cases, handing down severe penalties for convictions. Even simple possession of narcotics can mean a financial burden and a record that can follow you for years. Depending on the amount you are caught with, you could face escalating charges, including intent to distribute and sales.

If you are charged with drug possession, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney to review your case and defend your legal matter. Since Cohn Lifland has years of criminal defense experience, our attorneys can lead you towards the best conclusion possible.

Controlled Substance Act Of 1970

The federal government still believes in the same scheduling of drugs that it has for 40 years. States have taken a different stance on drugs like marijuana, but the truth is the same: drugs possession offenses are often related to their schedule according to the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous, have no medical benefits and come with the highest potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs include:

  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy
  • Peyote

Schedule II drugs are considered less dangerous and have some medical benefits, yet come with a high potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs include:

  • Vicodin
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methadone
  • Dilaudid
  • OxyContin
  • Adderall/Ritalin

Schedule III drugs are considered even less dangerous, have less potential for abuse and are considered to have medical benefits. They include:

  • Codeine
  • Ketamine
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Testosterone

Schedule IV and V include drugs like Xanax, Darvocet, Valium, Ambien and drugs with low amounts of codeine. These drugs are considered the least dangerous and have a low potential for abuse.

Drug Possession In New Jersey

In New Jersey, drug penalties often relate to their scheduling, except for marijuana. In the case of marijuana, a simple charge of possession of less than 50 grams constitutes a disorderly person offense, which comes with fines and possible jail time up to six months. An effective attorney can help you plead down the charges.

In other cases, including heroin and cocaine, courts are more aggressive. Simple possession of small amounts of a Schedule I or II drug, except marijuana, will be considered a felony, or a third-degree crime, and comes with severe penalties and potential jail time. Depending on the amount of drugs in your possession, you could face a second-degree crime with even steeper consequences. In most simple possession cases, if the violator has a clean record, a skilled attorney will be able to work with the prosecutor to avoid jail time. Most charges are predicated on:

  • The amount in your possession
  • The location of the arrest
  • Whether there is evidence of sales

Contact Cohn Lifland

If you have been arrested for drug possession in New Jersey, you are most likely facing serious consequences. The attorneys at Cohn Lifland have years of criminal defense litigation experience so they can help you reach the best possible conclusion to your legal matter.

Contact one of our attorneys to evaluate your case and represent your interests. Don't allow a simple drug possession to ruin your life. From our office in Saddle Brook, our lawyers help clients throughout northern New Jersey.