How To Protect Yourself Against Drug Trafficking Charges in the State of New Jersey

Information to Help You Understand a Drug Trafficking Charge  

Drug Trafficking in New Jersey

Drug trafficking is defined as the illegal sale, manufacture or creation, transport, movement, and/or distribution of any substance that is either illegal to own or was illegally acquired. In New Jersey, if you are charged with a drug trafficking offense, your future is in serious jeopardy. The punishment for a first time drug trafficking offense can mean a lengthy prison term along with very stiff fines. Proper representation against these charges is the difference between life as you know it and spending a significant part of your life behind bars. 

Distribution vs. Trafficking – Know the Difference

Many people believe that drug distribution is the same as drug trafficking–this is not the case. Distribution is determined by the movement of the drugs, whereas trafficking is a charge determined by the weight of the drugs. You may be charged with distribution and trafficking, however, the drugs do not have to be “on the move” to be charged with trafficking — they could merely be in your possession for a charge of trafficking to be made. 

Different Drugs Have Different Penalties 

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places all substances, or drugs, into a five schedule system which ranks the drugs based on medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability. Basically this process ranks the drugs on their severity and threat to those taking them on a schedule system from I to V. 

Schedule I drugs include marijuana, heroin, and LSD. These drugs have a high potential for abuse. 

Schedule II drugs also have a high potential for abuse but also have some accepted medical use in society. These drugs include morphine, cocaine, methadone, fentanyl, PCP, hydrocodone, and methamphetamine. 

Schedule III drugs have less of a potential for abuse than Schedule I and II drugs and also have some accepted medical uses. These drugs include anabolic steroids, codeine products, and some barbiturates. 

Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs, and are currently acceptable for use in the medical community in the United States. Examples of these drugs include alprazolam, clonazepam, and diazepam.

Schedule V drugs have an even lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV drugs, and are acceptable for medical use as well. Cough medicines with codeine are an example of this type of drug. 

New Jersey is Tough on Drug Traffickers 

In October of this year, the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) was launched in New Jersey. It  is a collaborative, multi-agency program designed to combine the resources of New Jersey’s federal, state, and local law enforcement to identify, target, and prosecute violent offenders and criminal organizations throughout New Jersey. The arrest of 42 defendants was announced at the end of October through the use of the VCI. 

New Jersey has tough consequences for any amount of drugs trafficked in its State. Sentences for less than 1 oz. of any drug include 18 months in jail and/or $25,000 in fines. The sentences increase for the amount of drugs trafficked and the type of drug, but expect 10-20 years in prison and upwards of $300,000 in fines if the amount of drugs trafficked is equal to or greater than 25 lbs. 

One current example of the type of sentence one can expect when trafficking drugs in New Jersey happened just this past month with the conviction of a Manchester man having been convicted of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He faces a maximum life behind bars and up to $10 million in fines. 

What To Do if You are Charged with Drug Trafficking in New Jersey

If you are charged with a drug trafficking offense in the state of New Jersey, it is crucial that you find legal representation immediately. 

The law offices of Robert J. DeGroot should be your first point of contact. Once you secure representation, be completely honest with the attorney working on your case. The more the attorney knows, the better they can help defend you against the charge. 

If you find yourself in the position of being accused/charged with a drug trafficking offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot. With over 50 years of experience in criminal defense in New Jersey, they will protect you and your rights. 

Contact us today for your confidential consultation!