How is Drug Manufacturing Charged in New Jersey?

Posted May 30th, 2024.

Categories: Blog.

illegal drugs on table with money

Any drug crime is considered a serious offense, but one of the most serious drug-related crimes that you can be charged with is drug manufacturing. With the opioid crisis raging on in the United States, drug manufacturing laws are strict and penalties can be severe. If you are facing criminal drug charges, contact a New Jersey criminal defense attorney for skilled legal counsel.

What is the Crime of Drug Manufacturing in NJ?

New Jersey has strict laws surrounding the manufacturing and distribution of illicit drugs. Under NJ code 2C:35-5, it is unlawful for a person to:

  • Knowingly manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) or controlled substance analog
  • Knowingly create, distribute, or possess with the intent to distribute a counterfeit CDS

A CDS is any drug classified under one of five schedules. Schedule I drugs, the most dangerous and therefore most harshly penalized, include heroin, mescaline, and LSD. Schedule II drugs include fentanyl, methamphetamine, and oxycodone. These are the most addictive and prone to abuse. Manufacturing any of these drugs or any included in Schedule III, IV, or V will result in harsh penalties.

What Are the Penalties in NJ?

In general, a drug manufacturing charge will be considered either a first, second, or third-degree crime. Anyone convicted can face a slew of penalties including fines, jail time, community service, probation, and more. The following are standard New Jersey sentencing guidelines for each degree of crime.

  • Third-degree: $25,000 in fines and imprisonment of 3 to 5 years
  • Second-degree: $150,000 in fines and imprisonment of 5 to 10 years
  • First-degree: $300,000 in fines and imprisonment of 10 to 20 years

If your drug manufacturing was part of a bigger operation, you could face charges related to operating, maintaining, aiding, promoting, financing, or participating in a CDS production facility. This is a first-degree crime and if you are convicted you could face fines of up to $750,000 and a term of imprisonment left to the court’s discretion. There are also minimum sentencing laws that will require you to serve at least one-third or one-half of your sentence before you are eligible for parole.

Aggravating factors can cause any of these sentences to increase. The amount of drugs you were manufacturing or in possession of as well as your prior criminal history can affect your sentencing.

What Defenses Can I Use in My Drug Manufacturing Case?

If you are facing charges related to drug manufacturing you need to acquire the skills of an experienced attorney. These charges can have a significant impact on your life if you are convicted. Work with a lawyer to form the best defense for your specific situation. Below are some defenses that you may consider utilizing.

  • You did not know that you created an illegal substance
  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Authorized possession of the drug
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