Drug trafficking crimes involve the creation and/or distribution of banned drugs or controlled substances that were obtained illegally. They are considered very serious crimes and often carry severe penalties. The more dangerous the drug, the quantity of the drug, and the more drug crimes you are convicted of – in addition to drug trafficking – the worse the punishment could be. Finding a quality lawyer for your case can easily make the difference between many years in prison or a lesser penalty.
New Jersey Drug Trafficking Law Definition and Details
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. Drug trafficking crimes usually involve much more than simply handling an illegal substance from point A to point B. It often involves a large scheme on a national or international scale with millions of dollars of sales generated. Usually, to be convicted of this crime one must have a larger part in the scheme such as organizing, financing, or supervising/managing those creating, moving, or selling the drugs.
The following is a list of the most commonly trafficked drugs in the United States:
Because this type of crime is on a much larger scale and results in thousands of affected Americans gaining access to illegal substances, a special federal group called The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is used to investigate these crimes. They were created to crack down on drug presence and distribution in the United States.
Possible Drug Trafficking Penalties for Those Convicted in NJ
If you are caught by the DEA and convicted, the penalties for this type of crime are severe. This is because it is considered a very serious crime that usually earns an individual a 1st degree felony charge. If convicted of other drug crimes the penalties can become much more severe. This is especially the case if charged with any of the following:
- Possession of a drug with intent to distribute within 1000 ft of school zone
- Possession of a drug with intent to distribute within 500 ft of a public library, park, or certain housing
- Possession of a handgun (such as a pistol) in association with the drug crime
Penalties for drug trafficking crimes in New Jersey depend on what type of drug was involved and how much of the drug was being created, managed, and in possession. These charges can be broken down into four categories and have specific penalties associated with them:
- 4th Degree Crime = Least Severe and up to 18 months imprisonment
- 3rd Degree Crime = Less severe and 3-5 years imprisonment
- 2nd Degree Crime = Moderately Severe and 5-10 years imprisonment
- 1st Degree Crime = Most Severe and 10-20 years imprisonment
It is important to note that prison is only part of the punishment when it comes to a drug trafficking conviction, which can also results in heavy fines depending on how much of the drug and what kind of drug was involved.
A person can also lose many civil rights and federal benefits temporarily or permanently depending on whether or not this is a first time scenario. These type of penalties can include:
- Losing the right to bear arms.
- Being denied certain loans and grants
- Forfeiture of assets, money, or property associate with earnings from convicted drug crimes
- If an illegal immigrant: Immediate Deportation and denied future citizenship attempts
Those who are accused of leading a narcotics trafficking scheme can also be sentenced to life in prison and charged up to $750,000 in fines alone. Parole would not be available to such an individual until at least 25 years of their sentence has been served.
Contact Experienced NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer Adam M. Lustberg for a Free Initial Consultation
If you have been arrested for a serious drug crime, you need an experienced NJ lawyer to defend you and to help you get the charges dropped, altered, or decreased. There are many options available, and experienced criminal defense attorney Adam M. Lustberg provides just the type of legal counsel you need. Contact Lustberg Law Offices, LLC via our online contact form to determine the best course of action for your case or call us at 201-431-7556.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.