In New Jersey, the nature of criminal charges related to drug offenses will depend on how the drugs in question are classified. Drugs and controlled substances are classified into Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V. Schedule V is the least serious of these categories. However, even though Schedule V drugs are less severe compared to other substances, they may still be subject to criminal penalties.
The manufacturing and distribution of a Schedule V drug may be charged as a fourth-degree crime. Illegal possession of a Schedule V may be similarly charged. However, Schedule V drugs are less addictive than other more dangerous substances and often have legitimate medical uses. As such, it is very often perfectly legal to have a Schedule V drug, as long as it was obtained through legal channels.
If you were charged with a crime related to Schedule V drugs or controlled substances, you might be facing serious penalties even though these drugs are not always illegal. Contact our New Jersey drug offense lawyers for a free legal consultation on your case. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.
How Schedule V Drug Offenses are Penalized in New Jersey
According to New Jersey law, the manufacture and distribution of Schedule V controlled substances may be charged with a fourth-degree crime. Not only that, but possession of Schedule V drugs may also be charged as a fourth-degree crime. In New Jersey, fourth-degree crimes may be penalized with a prison term of no longer than 18 months.
Schedule V drugs are sometimes tricky to understand because they have accepted medical purposes and are often administered under medical supervision. As such, it is not always illegal to possess these drugs. However, illegally obtaining a Schedule V drug may be charged as a criminal offense. For example, buying prescription pills off the street when a licensed physician must prescribe them could be penalized.
Similarly, you may only be charged with distributing some Schedule V drugs if you are not licensed or permitted to do so. People like doctors or pharmacists can obviously distribute certain Schedule V drugs because that is part of their job. However, someone distributing or prescribing these drugs without a license may be criminally charged.
If you were charged with a criminal offense related to a Schedule V drug, please call our Ocean County drug offense lawyers for assistance. You might have a defense if you possessed or distributed the drugs under lawful means.
What Are Schedule V Drugs in New Jersey?
Drugs and controlled substances are broken down into five different Schedules, numbered one through five. The lower the Schedule number, the more dangerous the controlled substance is. This means Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous and often come with the lowest penalties.
Drugs are classified based on their addictive nature and potential for medical use. Drugs that are highly addictive but have little or no medical usefulness are classified closer to the more dangerous Schedule I. As such, Schedule V drugs tend to have little potential for addiction or abuse and have valid medical uses. In fact, many Schedule V drugs are frequently used as part of medical treatments. You can even obtain some Schedule V drugs over the counter or by prescription.
If you have been charged with a drug-related offense involving a Schedule V drug or controlled substance, contact our New Jersey drug offense attorneys for assistance.
Legal Possession of Schedule V Drugs in New Jersey
Schedule V drugs are not always illegal. Every day, people are in possession of such drugs and are not breaking any laws. Schedule V drugs are often used for medical treatments and patients get them from their doctor or pharmacist. Likewise, pharmacists and doctors are not breaking the law by distributing these drugs to patients.
Schedule V drugs become a legal problem when someone who is not authorized to have or distribute the drug does so anyway. For example, a person who buys a Schedule V substance without a prescription may face legal consequences. Also, doctors who write false prescriptions so that people who do not need certain Schedule V drugs can get them could also be charged. For help with your charges, contact our New Jersey drug offense lawyers immediately. If you were in lawful possession of a Schedule V drug, we can work to have your charges dismissed.
Enhanced Penalties for Schedule V Drug Offenses in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the penalties for drug-related offenses can be enhanced or upgraded if certain conditions are met. One such condition is when a minor under the age of 18 is involved. Enhanced penalties for drug crimes involving minors are designed to protect children from drugs and dangerous controlled substances.
The enhanced penalties for drug offenses involving minors include doubling the prison term and any fines. The more serious your offense is, the greater your enhancement will be. For Schedule V drug offenses, the penalties are often fourth-degree crimes that can be punished by up to 18 months in prison. Under this enhancement, 18 months could turn into 36.
The enhancement only kicks in if the defendant is over 18 and attempted to sell or distribute drugs to someone no older than 17. If the defendant is also under 18, the enhancement does not apply. Also, the enhancement may only apply to a single charge. If the defendant faces multiple charges for drug dealing, the enhancement may only attach to the charge that carried the most significant penalty. Reach out to our South Jersey drug offense attorneys to discuss your situation and determine if you may face any enhanced penalties.
Call Our New Jersey Drug Offense Attorneys for Help with Your Case
Even though Schedule V drugs are less serious than other kinds of controlled substances, the criminal penalties can be quite severe. If you have been charged with a Schedule V drug-related offense, contact our New Jersey drug offense lawyers now. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.