Drug Defense Attorney in Cumberland County

In 2018, there were more than 3,100 fatal drug overdoses across New Jersey. An estimated 113 such deaths occurred here in Cumberland County. The Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office in Bridgeton has been seeking to aggressively prosecute drug offenders while also referring many to diversionary treatment programs such as the Drug Court.

Defining Controlled Substances (2C:35-2)

The law prohibits possessing, manufacturing, and distributing controlled dangerous substances. These include those classified as Schedule I, II, III, IV, V, and their analogs or precursors. The New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act outlines how these substances are categorized.

Schedule I substances are those deemed as very likely to be abused and typically have very limited medical uses in the U.S. Examples include heroin, mescaline, LSD, and ecstasy. Schedule II examples include methamphetamine, cocaine, and others. Schedule V drugs are those that generally have an accepted medical use and are less addictive.

Possession of Drugs (2C:35-10)

The penalties for possession vary in severity based on the classification of the substance and the quantity possessed. For example, drugs including heroin, cocaine, and others in Schedule I through IV are charged as third-degree offenses. Schedule V drugs and marijuana in a quantity of fewer than 50 grams are charged as fourth-degree offenses.

Drug Manufacturing or Distribution (2C-35-5)

It is illegal to manufacture and/or have the intent to deliver controlled substances. The following chart outlines the penalties.


1st Degree

2nd Degree

3rd Degree

4th Degree

Heroin or Cocaine

5 oz +

½ oz to 5 oz

Less than ½ oz


Schedule I or II


1 oz +

Less than 1 oz



100 mg +

Less than 100 mg




5 ounces +

½ ounce to 5 oz

Less than ½ oz



25 lbs or 50+ plants

5 to 25 lbs or 10 to 50 plants

1 oz to 5 lbs

Less than 1 oz

Potential Terms of Imprisonment

First-degree offenses are punishable by 10 to 20 years of imprisonment. A second-degree offense is punishable by five to 10 years. A third-degree offense is punishable by three to five years. A fourth-degree offense may be punishable by up to 18 months. A disorderly person offense is punishable by up to six months; however, incarceration is somewhat unlikely for these offenses.

Diversionary and Alternative Programs for Drug and Alcohol Offenders

A “special probation” alternative is possible for certain criminal offenders. The offender must initially submit to a “professional diagnostic assessment” and be deemed as drug or alcohol dependent.

Those in possession of a firearm at the time of the offense or those deemed as a “danger to the community” are ineligible. This includes those with past convictions or pending charges for violent crimes. All participating treatment centers must be properly licensed and state-approved.

Cumberland County Drug Court

The counties of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem are a Criminal Court Vicinage. The Cumberland County Drug Court Program provides treatment for nonviolent offenders that are struggling with substance abuse. The program involves four phases of treatment and recovery.

Cumberland County Defense Lawyer for Drug Offenses

Drug-related criminal charges can result in harsh sentences being imposed. The Lento Law Firm is experienced in effectively defending clients in cases involving drug possession, distribution, manufacturing and more. Contact the office today for a consultation at (888) 535-3686.

​​​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.

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