Drug Defense Attorney in Ocean County

New Jersey's Substance Abuse Monitoring System reported that more than 89,000 individuals statewide were admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities in 2018. More than 7,400 of these individuals were Ocean County residents. Ocean County has been among the counties plagued with widespread drug-related crime. Law enforcement recently arrested a distributor with 90,000 doses of heroin, 20 pounds of cocaine, and assault weapons.

Legislative Intent (2C:35-1.1)

New Jersey legislators believe that people who abuse, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances create a “serious and pervasive threat to the health, welfare, and safety” to the community. Currently, these laws seek to impose particularly harsh penalties on those offenders found to be involved in the supply networks.

Possession of Drugs (2C:35-10)

It is unlawful for anyone to knowingly maintain possession of a controlled substance (or its derivatives) unless it was prescribed by a licensed physician. The most dangerous types of drugs including heroin, cocaine, and any substance classified in Schedule I through IV are charged as third-degree offenses. When Schedule V drugs are involved they are charged as fourth-degree offenses. Marijuana possession is a disorderly person offense as long as the quantity is fewer than 50 grams.

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

It is unlawful for people to manufacture, dispense or sell controlled dangerous substances or their analogs. The same applies when an individual has control of the substance with intent to dispense, sell, etc. The severity of the offense varies 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

Level of Offense

Maximum Incarceration

Maximum Fine

First Offense

10 to 20 years

Up to $200,000

Second Degree

5 to 10 years

Up to $150,000

Third Degree

3 to 5 years

Up to $15,000

Fourth Degree

18 months

Up to $10,000

Disorderly Person Offense

6 months

Up to $1,000

Ocean County Drug Court

The Ocean Vicinage Drug Court program was established in 2002 as a diversionary program for nonviolent drug offenders. The program consists of four phases that span five years. It is described as a “collaborative relationship between criminal justice and drug treatment professionals.”

Legal Defense for Drug Charges in New Jersey

Being convicted of a drug-related crime may result in incarceration and adversely impact your long-term future goals. Joseph D. Lento is a defense attorney that protects the rights of those facing these types of allegations. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.

​​​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.