Overview: Drug Possession Charges in NJ
Have you ever heard the phrase possession is nine-tenths of the law? While this saying mainly applies to property rights, it holds true when you’re caught holding or in possession of an illegal substance. There are multiple criminal charges associated with possessing drugs, or controlled substances, as defined by both federal and state law. Learn everything you need to know about what’s legal and illegal when it comes to drug charges below:
Federal Law Defines What’s Illegal to Possess
Back in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed. This important federal legislation defines specific substances as drugs, and it regulates these substance’s manufacturing, distribution, and sale. Some substances are entirely controlled. In other words, they’re illegal to possess at all. Here’s how the act defines drugs:
- Schedule 1: No accepted medical use, high abuse potential (THC)
- Schedule 2: Accepted medical uses, highly addictive, highly restricted (Adderall, Cocaine, Hydrocodone, Oxycontin)
- Schedule 3: Accepted medical use, some dependence, restricted (Ketamine, Testosterone)
- Schedule 4: Medical uses, low abuse potential (Xanax, Valium)
- Schedule 5: Medical uses, very low abuse potential (Robitussin)
Since 1970, several states have passed their own laws regarding different substances. In addition, the recent Hemp Act altered the legal status of hemp-derived substances.
New Jersey State Laws Regarding Possession
In New Jersey, law enforcement officers adhere to the Controlled Substances Act. It’s against the law to possess any controlled substance without a valid prescription. New Jersey laws also define the crime of possessing drug paraphernalia. There is one exception that deviates from federal law. In New Jersey, it’s legal to possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana with a valid state license.
Crimes Associated With Possession
Serious consequences, including imprisonment, are attached to possession crimes. Depending on the substance you had and the amount, you could be charged with other crimes. If you were caught with a substantial amount of a controlled substance, then you could get charged with possession with the intent to sell. If you have individual bags or cash on you, you could get charged with distribution. If cops find evidence that you produced or grew the substance, then you could be charged with manufacturing the drug. Simple possession is by far the least severe drug-related crime, but the penalties are still steep.
Contact an Experienced Summit Drug Defense Attorney About Your Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug crime in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Zegas Law represent clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Morris County, Union County, Essex County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 833-4724 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 60 Morris Turnpike #3, Summit, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.