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Drug Distribution In New Jersey

What are the Criminal Charges for Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing a Controlled Dangerous Substance?

Manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 ) in New Jersey is a severe crime with crushing penalties. Someone facing this charge can receive very heavy fines and serious prison time. This is not a charge that should be taken lightly or relegated to an afterthought. You should retain legal counsel, like those at Villani & DeLuca, P.C., immediately following a charge of this nature.

What is Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing a Controlled Dangerous substance (CDS) N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 ?

Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 forbids not only the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of a controlled dangerous substance, it also forbids possession with the intent to distribute. While this may not seem to be very important, it can have huge consequences. For instance, someone is caught smoking marijuana near a school zone in Toms River. This person has never sold a drug and does not ever plan to. But, when searched by the Toms River Police, 5 small, sealable bags with marijuana are found on the person. While this may simply be the 5 bags the person bought the marijuana in, a Toms River police officer may charge the man with intent to distribute. Based on the Toms River police officer's training and experience they may believe that having multiple bags of a drug is common to those with intent to sell.

What is a Controlled Dangerous Substance in New Jersey?

A controlled dangerous substance is something regulated by the Federal or State government in order to effectively balance legitimate medical purposes and addiction/abuse. All common drugs are placed in a certain category, or “scheduled,” according to these properties.

What Does Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2) Mean?

These words have very broad and wide-ranging definitions in New Jersey's statutes. They are designed to be interpreted broadly in order to make the prosecution easier. The mere handling of a controlled dangerous substance may warrant this charge, even if you had no true intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense it. The manufacturing of a drug could be anything from growing pot in your back yard to producing meth in a backyard lab. It's the production of the drug by any means including growing, converting via a chemical process or extracting the chemical agent which provides the high. Whatever method is used, the end result is considered to be a controlled and dangerous substance. Once the drugs are produced they are then dispensed for sale. The Dispensing of the CDS is done after the drugs have been manufactured. The CDS will then be provided to the person who will be distributing the drugs.

What are the Penalties?

The penalties for any drug-related crime in New Jersey are very harsh. For this particular offense, the penalties are determined by the quantity and type of controlled dangerous substance. The spectrum of penalties is extremely diverse, as some offenses may be charged as a 1st degree crime and others as a 4th degree crime. The difference in fines you may receive is also significant, ranging from $25,000 to as high as $500,000.

What to do if Charged With Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing?

If you are charged with manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance in New Jersey, seek legal counsel immediately. These charges can have permanent effects on your life. Call Villani & DeLuca, P.C. for a free consultation.

At Villani & DeLuca, P.C., our attorneys have over 100 years combined experience helping clients settle drug related cases. Call us at 732-820-1256 today for a FREE consultation.

2C:35-5. Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing.

a. Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:

(1) To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or

(2) To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.

b. Any person who violates subsection a. with respect to:

(1) Heroin, or its analog, or coca leaves and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of coca leaves, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation thereof which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of these substances, or analogs, except that the substances shall not include decocainized coca leaves or extractions which do not contain cocaine or ecogine, or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the first degree. The defendant shall, except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed;

(2) A substance referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces, including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(3) A substance referred to paragraph (1) of this subsection in a quantity less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed;

(4) A substance classified as a narcotic drug in Schedule I or II other than those specifically covered in this section, or the analog of any such substance, in a quantity of one ounce or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(5) A substance classified as a narcotic drug in Schedule I or II other than those specifically covered in this section, or the analog of any such substance, in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed;

(6) Lysergic acid diethylamide, or its analog, in a quantity of 100 milligrams or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or phencyclidine, or its analog, in a quantity of 10 grams or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, the court shall impose a term of imprisonment which shall include the imposition of a minimum term, fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed;

(7) Lysergic acid diethylamide, or its analog, in a quantity of less than 100 milligrams including any adulterants or dilutants, or where the amount is undetermined, or phencyclidine, or its analog, in a quantity of less than 10 grams including any adulterants or dilutants, or where the amount is undetermined, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(8) Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed;

(9) (a) Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(b) Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed;

(10) (a) Marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of five pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed;

(b) Marijuana in a quantity of five pounds or more but less than 25 pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or 10 or more but fewer than 50 marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of one pound or more but less than five pounds, including any adulterants and dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(11) Marijuana in a quantity of one ounce or more but less than five pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of five grams or more but less than one pound including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed;

(12) Marijuana in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of less than five grams including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree;

(13) Any other controlled dangerous substance classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or its analog, is guilty of a crime of the third degree, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed; or

(14) Any Schedule V substance, or its analog, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed.

c. Where the degree of the offense for violation of this section depends on the quantity of the substance, the quantity involved shall be determined by the trier of fact. Where the indictment or accusation so provides, the quantity involved in individual acts of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, whether distribution or dispensing is to the same person or several persons, provided that each individual act of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to distribute was committed within the applicable statute of limitations.

You Have Rights! Let Our Firm Help Protect Them!

If you are facing charges in Ocean County or Monmouth County, you should be aware that a conviction can have serious consequences which will impact your life. The attorneys at Villani & DeLuca are experienced in helping people that are facing criminal charges determine the best possible outcome for their case and work toward an effective resolution. Carmine Villani and the lawyers at Villani & DeLuca will be with you every step of the way.


Contact the criminal defense team of Villani & DeLuca today.

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