Drug Defense Attorney in Salem County

The New Jersey Attorney General's Office reported that there were approximately 3,021 fatal drug overdoses statewide in 2019. In 2018, there were more than 650 residents of Salem County admitted to a substance abuse treatment program. Agencies of law enforcement continue to battle drug-related criminal activity, which often involves violent crime.

Controlled dangerous substances are those classified in Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V. This also may include immediate precursors and their analogs. These include substances that may have a legitimate medical purpose and those considered to be “street” drugs.

Drug Possession Laws

It is unlawful for a person to knowingly possess a dangerous controlled substance (or an analog) unless it was prescribed by a licensed physician. In most cases, drug possession is charged as a third-degree offense. This applies to heroin, LSD, and any substances classified in Schedule I through IV. Schedule V drugs are charged as fourth-degree offenses. Marijuana possession is charged as a disorderly person offense unless the quantity involved is greater than 50 grams.

Manufacturing or Distribution Laws

The law prohibits the manufacturing, dispensing or sales of controlled dangerous substances or their derivatives. In terms of distribution, a transaction doesn't need to occur as long as there was possession with intent to distribute. These crimes are charged according to the type of controlled substance and the quantity possessed. 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

Provisions for “Special Probation” in New Jersey Law

The legislators have implemented provisions that afford certain offenders with substance abuse problems the opportunity to be transitioned to a “special probation” diversionary program. Offenders must initially undergo an assessment from a professional who determines that the individual is dependent on drugs or alcohol. Those who qualify then may participate in a program of rehabilitation and recovery.

Penalties in New Jersey

  • First Degree: 10 to 20 years of imprisonment and a maximum $200,000 fine
  • Second Degree: 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and a maximum $150,000 fine
  • Third Degree: 3 to 5 years of imprisonment and a maximum $15,000 fine
  • Fourth Degree: Up to 18 months of imprisonment and a maximum $10,000 fine
  • Disorderly Person Offense: 6 months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine

Salem County Drug Court

The Salem, Cumberland, and Gloucester Counties Vicinage has a very successful Drug Court program. It is a part of the Superior Court and the program is designed for nonviolent drug offenders. This five-year program features a “tightly structured regimen of treatment and recovery.”

Legal Representation for Drug-Related Criminal Offenses

Legislators, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors continue their efforts to impose stricter penalties on convicted drug offenders. The Lento Law Firm provides aggressive defense strategies to protect the rights and freedom of those accused. Make the call to (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation today.

​​​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.