Under New Jersey law, drug distribution typically falls within two categories. They are defined as:
- The manufacture and distribution of controlled dangerous substances and the possession of such substances with the intent to distribute
- The creation and distribution of dangerous counterfeit substances as well as the possession of such substances with the intent to distribute
This means that you can find yourself in serious legal trouble for distributing drugs, including counterfeit or homemade intoxicating substances.
Distributing different types of drugs means facing different degrees of drug charges. For example, distributing up to five ounces of heroin is charged as a first-degree crime. Distributing between half an ounce to five ounces of heroin is a second-degree crime. Distributing less than half an ounce of this substance will be charged as a third-degree crime.
As you might expect, the penalties associated with distributing drugs increase according to how the authorities charge a defendant. For example, first-degree drug distribution charges can result in a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years. Second-degree charges might land a defendant behind bars for up to 10 years, while third-degree charges may yield a prison term of three to five years imprisonment.
In many cases, individuals facing drug charges pose no threat to public safety. Often, they did not even realize what the consequences might be or think they were doing anything wrong – particularly if the charges involve marijuana or prescription drugs.
An experienced attorney can help defendants mitigate the consequences of drug distribution charges. When you choose to partner with an attorney, you gain the opportunity to work with a professional who understands your charges and can work to create a successful defense strategy.