Law enforcement is proactive and prosecutors aggressively enforce drug distribution laws. If you have been arrested on charges of distribution of drugs — also referred to as controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) — your liberty is at stake. It is important to retain experienced counsel as soon as possible.
Cohn Lifland has served New Jersey clients with effective and tenacious criminal defense for many years. If you are charged with drug distribution, you are facing serious consequences. Contact Cohn Lifland to defend you.
The Type Of Drug Matters
A charge of distribution or possession with the intent to distribute CDS, will reflect the type and quantity of the substance that forms the basis of the charge. Generally speaking, drug cases are graded based on the drug’s schedule under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 as well as the quantity of the drug at issue. The most commonly abused drugs fall under Schedule I or II. An experienced lawyer will be able to review the charges and assist you in understanding the exposure you face as a result of your charges. Often, these charges carry with them the potential for jail and prison incarceration.
New Jersey classifies CDS into five Schedules as follows:
- Schedule I
- Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.
- Schedule II
- Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are: combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit: (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
- Schedule III
- Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are: products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.
- Schedule IV
- Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are: Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol.
- Schedule V
- Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are: cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica and Parepectolin.
The Amount Matters
In addition to the type of drug at issue in your case, the amount of the drug will also impact your potential exposure. New Jersey drug laws detail what amount of drugs constitutes “personal use.” In cases with larger quantities of drugs, the charges may increase beyond personal possession to possession with the intent to distribute, which has similar consequences to sale and distribution. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can assist you with understanding your charges, the potential penalties and how best to defend your case.
If you are charged with selling drugs or with enough drugs to constitute intent to distribute, you must consider the surrounding circumstances. For example the penalties increase for drug possession and or distribution within a school zone. Also, being charged with possession of drugs while in a motor vehicle carries with it a potential loss of driving privileges. It is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can assist you with defending these charges.
Contact Cohn Lifland
Cohn Lifland has served New Jersey with quality legal services for the past 90 years. Our effective and experienced attorneys are ready to evaluate your case, guide you through your options, and use all legal defenses in order to reach the best possible outcome.
If you are facing charges of drug distribution, you are facing serious consequences. You have questions about your rights and your future, contact Cohn Lifland online or call 201-845-9600 for a free initial consultation. From our office in Saddle Brook, our lawyers help clients throughout northern New Jersey.