If you have been arrested for drug possession in New Jersey, it’s important to understand how the state treats possession of a controlled dangerous substance. New Jersey takes a somewhat different approach than other jurisdictions, establishing five “schedules” that categorize the different types of illegal drugs.
The New Jersey CDS Classification Scheme
The classification system categorizes controlled dangerous substances based on two factors—their likelihood of being abused and addictive; and whether they have any recognized medical value. Schedule I includes those that are considered most dangerous—those that are most likely to lead to addiction and which have little or no recognized medical value. Schedules II-V reflect decreasing likelihood of addiction and/or increased medical value:
- Schedule I—This includes what are typically referred to as “hard drugs,” such as heroin, LSD and MDMA, as well as marijuana, hashish, and psilocybin
- Schedule II—These controlled dangerous substances have the potential to be highly addictive, but have more medicinal value than Schedule I drugs. Schedule II includes methadone, methamphetamines, hydromorphone, Demerol, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine and similar substances.
- Schedule III—These drugs have accepted medical value and less risk of addiction. Schedule III includes anabolic steroids, Testosterone, Ketamine, Suboxone and similar drugs.
- Schedule IV—Schedule IV substances have a low risk of abuse and addiction and have medical value. They are mostly drugs that can lead to psychic dependence, such as Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Darvocet and Clonazepam
- Schedule V—These drugs have a very low likelihood of addiction and are often sold over the counter for medical purposes. Schedule V controlled dangerous substances include codeine, dihydrocodeine, opium and similar pharmaceutical products.
The penalties for possession are different, based on the type of offense and the amount in possession. For any offense involving a Schedule I-IV CDS, the maximum penalty is $35,000 in fines and five years in prison, or both. For a Schedule V crime, you can get up to 18 months in prison and incur a fine of up to $15,000.
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