Drug Defense Attorney in Cape May County

In 2019, the New Jersey State Police and Opioid Enforcement Task Force shut down an estimated 11 “heroin mills.” Governor Murphy has recognized how illegal drugs are contributing to crime and also destroying families in New Jersey. In the first two years of his administration, they have allocated more than $100 million toward enforcement, treatment, education, and other efforts.

Possession of Drugs (2C:35-10)

It is a crime for an individual to knowingly possess a dangerous controlled substance (or an analog) unless it was prescribed by a licensed physician. Possession is charged as a third-degree offense in most cases. This applies to heroin, cocaine, and any substances classified in Schedule I through IV. Schedule V drugs are charged as fourth-degree offenses. Possession of marijuana is charged as a disorderly person offense unless the quantity exceeds 50 grams.

Manufacturing or Distribution (2C:35-5)

It is unlawful for individuals to manufacture, dispense or sell controlled dangerous substances or their analogs. This also applies when an individual has control of the substance with intent to dispense, sell, etc. The severity of the crime is based on the type of substance and the quantity in their possession.

Heroin, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine

  • Five ounces or more is a first-degree offense
  • A quantity between a half-ounce and five ounces is a second-degree offense
  • Less than a half-ounce is a third-degree offense

Schedule I or II Drugs

  • One ounce or more is a second-degree offense
  • Less than one ounce is a third-degree offense


  • 100 milligrams or more is a first-degree offense
  • Less than 100 milligrams is a second-degree offense


  • 25 pounds or 50 plants or more is a first-degree offense
  • A quantity between five pounds and 25 pounds or 10 to 50 plants is a second-degree offense
  • A quantity between one ounce and five pounds is a third-degree offense
  • A quantity between five grams and one ounce is a fourth-degree offense

“Drug-Free” Zone Laws for Distribution

All U.S. states now have laws that either add enhancements to drug distribution charges or add a separate charge when these crimes occur in “drug-free” zones. In New Jersey, this applies to offenses that occur within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus.  An additional law was added applying to distribution within 500 feet of "real property comprising a public housing facility, a public park, or a public building."

Based on the circumstances, offenders in New Jersey will be charged with either a second or third-degree violation in these instances. It is not a viable defense to claim that the offender was unaware that they were located in these zones. Some provisions impose minimum terms of imprisonment without parole eligibility that may be subject to the discretion of the court.

Cape May County Criminal Court System

Criminal matters in Cape May County and Atlantic County are merged as the Vicinage 1 of the New Jersey Superior Court. A mandatory drug court program was implemented in 2014 for offenders that used a state-based model.

New Jersey Drug Offense Attorney

Have you been arrested and charged with a drug-related criminal offense? The Lento Law Firm has spent many years defending clients in the New Jersey courts. Call the office at (888) 535-3686 today for a consultation.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.