In New Jersey, it is a crime to be in possession of what is known as CDS—Controlled Dangerous Substances. There are several classifications of drugs in New Jersey from Schedule I to Schedule V. If an individual is caught with a Schedule I CDS, he or she can be arrested and prosecuted under New Jersey law. It is illegal to possess, distribute or consume these drugs.
Why is a Drug Classified as Schedule I?
Schedule I drugs fall into one or more categories, but in general there are three criteria for a drug to be considered Schedule I and therefore illegal to have, use or sell.
In the United States, if the drug is not accepted for medical use or treatment, it falls into the category of Schedule I. This means that if a doctor or medical professional licensed to prescribe drugs cannot issue a prescription for a drug to use in treatment of a medical issue, then it is a Schedule I drug and is deemed to be illegal in the state of New Jersey.
A drug will also be placed in the category of Schedule I if there is great potential for abuse. Drugs that have no medical purpose and are illegal in New Jersey exist for no other reason than for people to use for non-medical purposes. Even under medical care, if a drug doesn’t have an accepted safe use, it is placed in the Schedule I category. If the drug is in the Schedule I category, doctors cannot prescribe it.
Examples of Schedule I Drugs
There are many drugs that fall into the Schedule I category in New Jersey. A vast amount of them have technical names that are not understood by a layman. Others, however, are widely known and can serve as examples as to the types of drugs that would automatically be judged illegal if possessed or sold in New Jersey.
Heroin, also known as smack or dope, has no known medical purpose and is used solely for the purpose of achieving a high. It is commonly injected, but can can also be snorted and smoked. Its purity can vary and has a high potential for overdose and death. In addition, people using IV needles are putting themselves at risk for hepatitis and HIV.
GHB is the acronym for Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid but it is commonly known as a “date rape” drug. It is used recreationally to get a high or as a sleep aid. In small doses, it has the same effect as alcohol, but given the nature of the drug and that it is not dispensed by a medical professional, it’s difficult to know how much is too much and this can lead to an overdose. The overdosing individual can pass out or experience more severe reactions such as convulsions. If it is mixed with alcohol—as often happens in a party or social setting—its danger is increased.
Marijuana, also known as pot, cannabis and multiple other names on the street, is illegal in New Jersey. It is commonly considered an innocuous drug and is one of the Schedule I drugs that is allowed to be used in certain states under a medical setting and New Jersey is one of those states. Marijuana is not considered to be inherently addictive, but it can by psychologically addictive and inhaling smoke into one’s lungs is dangerous over the long term.
Penalties for Schedule I Drug Possession
For simple possession, using, being under the influence of, or intending to distribute Schedule I drugs, the punishment varies. For example, simple possession, use or being under the influence of marijuana can result in up to 18 months in jail and a fine from $500 to $15,000. If there is possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, the punishment can be up to ten years in prison and fines between $750 and $100,000.
Contact an Attorney for Schedule I Drug Violations
Have you or a loved one been arrested and charged with possession, use or distribution of a Schedule I drug in New Jersey? If so, you should contact the lawyers at Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Villani & DeLuca has extensive experience in handling drug cases. The drug crime attorneys at Villani & DeLuca have helped people who may have a legitimate excuse for the crime and would like to resolve the case as quickly and easily as possible without the potential of hefty fines and possibly even jail time.
In the event of a charge related to a Schedule I drug in Monmouth County or Ocean County, in towns such as Asbury Park, Point Pleasant, Belmar, Brick or Toms River, Villani & DeLuca lawyers can help you. Call today to set up your free initial appointment to discuss your case.