Did you know that Gloucester County is one of roughly 14 U.S. counties recently classified as a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)? Gloucester County also had approximately fatal drug overdoses during 2018. The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office and local, county, state, and federal law enforcement are taking more aggressive action to reverse these trends.
New Jersey Legislative Overview
New Jersey lawmakers recognize that the fight against “drug abuse and drug-related crime must be waged aggressively at every level along the drug distribution chain.” Their goals are to impose significant penalties on repeat offenders and those involved in trafficking.
At the same time, data has shown that drug-related crime cannot be stopped by incarceration alone. The Superior Courts across the state all have programs in place that are considered diversionary or alternative. Nonviolent drug offenders are eligible to complete a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program while on community-based supervision.
New Jersey law prohibits knowingly having possession or control over a controlled dangerous substance unless prescribed by a licensed physician. Controlled substances are those classified in Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V, which encompasses “street drugs” such as cocaine, LSD, etc.
The penalties for possession are based on the classification of the substance and the quantity that is possessed. The following is a summary of the penalties:
- Third degree: Heroin, cocaine, and Schedule I through IV
- Fourth degree: Schedule V drugs
- Fourth degree: 50 or more grams of marijuana or five or more grams of hashish
- Disorderly person offense: Less than 50 grams of marijuana or fewer than five grams of hashish
Drug Manufacturing or Distribution
It is unlawful for individuals to manufacture, distribute or sell controlled dangerous substances or their analogs. This includes those who possess the drug and have the intent to distribute, sell, etc. The severity of the offense varies according to 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
Gloucester County Drug Court
The counties of Gloucester, Cumberland, and Salem form a Criminal Court Vicinage. The Gloucester County Drug Court Program provides treatment services for nonviolent offenders that are battling substance abuse.
Legal Representation for Drug Offenses in Gloucester County
Have you been arrested and charged with a drug-related crime? Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned defense attorney in this realm of practice. He will closely analyze the circumstances and evidence and create a comprehensive defense strategy. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.