Everyone should be aware that it is against the law to possess, manufacture, or sell certain types of drugs. However, like any other type of law, the criminal laws in New Jersey regarding drugs can be confusing and many people do not know the specifics about drug laws. However, drugs are a major issue in New Jersey, as overdose is the number one cause of unintentional death in our state. The following are four important things you should be aware of regarding drug cases in NJ.
- Which substances can result in criminal charges?
New Jersey sets out a list of substances that are referred to as “controlled dangerous substances.” This list involves many types of drugs, ranging from those considered to be highly dangerous (Schedule I substances such as heroin) to those considered to be medically useful and less risky (Schedule V substances such as cough syrup with codeine). Any of these substances can result in criminal possession charges if you did not obtain them with a valid prescription.
- What are the penalties for drug offenses in NJ?
The specific penalties in a particular drug case will vary depending on the amount and type of drugs in question. However, the majority of drug cases can result in consequences including:
- Prison time
- Extensive fines
- Mandatory drug treatment
- What is drug court?
Drug court is part of the pretrial intervention (PTI) program in New Jersey that gives alternatives to certain qualifying offenders other than prison time. Not everyone qualifies for drug court but if they do, they have the opportunity to participate in a treatment program with close supervision and numerous conditions. Once the program is successfully finished, the defendant will have their case dismissed and will not face the consequences of having a criminal conviction on their permanent record.
- Do you need a lawyer for a drug charge?
It is critical to have an experienced criminal defense attorney handling your case as soon as possible after any arrest for a suspected drug offense. An attorney can help in many ways, including:
- Presenting any possible legal defenses to the court
- Seeing whether you qualify for drug court
- Negotiating a favorable plea deal
Call 973-686-9787 today for more information.
The above are only some of many ways a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer can help in your drug case. Please call the Law Office of David W. Polsky as soon as possible if you have been arrested.