Imitation Drug Charges in New Jersey
Possession or distribution of illegal drugs is a serious crime in New Jersey, with the potential for jail/prison time, large fines and court ordered rehabilitation. However, the State of New Jersey also takes a hardline stance against possession or distribution of any substance you believe to be a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), or intend to pass off as a CDS. In other words, even if what looks like cocaine is actually flour or some other powder, the fact that you were attempting to buy or sell illegal drugs is enough to land you in trouble with the police and the courts.
Counterfeit drug charges are significant as they are considered indictable crimes in New Jersey. This is the same as a felony charge in other states, and it carries stiff penalties. It is important that you retain the expertise of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in order to fight these charges as they can have dire consequences for your future.
Possession or Distribution of an Imitation Drug
In New Jersey there is a specific law, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-11, that explicitly states that any individual that possesses or distributes a substance they represent as a controlled dangerous substance is in violation of the law. The law is also violated in any scenario where a person implies or suggests that the substance they possess is a CDS and any reasonable person would believe them.
The law lays out three specific scenarios that the law against counterfeit drugs may be broken. They are as follows:
- Packing any substance in a way that resembles the method that someone would use to package and distribute an illegal drug.
- Attempting or succeeding in the act of distributing an imitation drug that is claimed to be a CDS for money or other reimbursement.
- Possessing or disbursing a substance that looks substantially the same as the form of a CDS.
Charges can include one or more of these scenarios.
What Are the Penalties for Imitation Drug Charges?
Possession or distribution of a counterfeit drug is considered a third degree offense and incurs the following penalties:
- Prison – Imitation drug charges are punishable by up to 5 years of prison time.
- Monetary Fines – These fines can be far greater than the standard for third degree offenses, as they can reach up to $200,000.
- Driver’s License Suspension – As with any CDS conviction, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of up to 2 years, with the minimum being 6 months.
- Learn about the NJ license restoration process.
The consequences for an imitation drug conviction are serious. It is in your best interest to hire a NJ criminal defense lawyer who knows how to handle drug related charges. At Schneider Freiberger we have the knowledge and experience to help our clients build the best case possible. If you or a loved one is facing an imitation drug charge, contact us right away so we can get started on your case.