New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Schedules

Schedule I Drugs

A Schedule I drug is defined as having a high potential for abuse and no acceptable medical use in treatment in the United States, or lacking accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision. Notably, marijuana is a Schedule I drug even though New Jersey has legalized medical marijuana for the treatment of certain acceptable conditions if prescribed by a licensed physician and obtained from a State-licensed dispensary. Here are some of the most common Schedule I drugs:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine (aka “Meth”)
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, acid)
  • MDMA (also known as Ecstacy, Molly)
  • Synthetic Marijuana (“Bath Salts”)

Schedule II CDS

A Schedule II controlled dangerous substance is recognized as having a high potential for abuse and may lead to psychological or physical dependence, but there is a current accepted medical use in the U.S. with severe restrictions. Schedule II drugs include:

  • Cocaine
  • Oxycodone/Oxycontin
  • Fentanyl
  • Percocet
  • Methadone
  • Vicodin
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Amphetamine (i.e. Adderall)
  • Ritalin

Schedule III Controlled Dangerous Substances

Schedule III drugs have a potential for abuse that is less than those in Schedules I and II and have an accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. These drugs may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. The following are examples of Schedule III CDS:

  • Suboxone
  • Ketamine
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Tylenol With Codeine

CDS in Schedule IV

Drugs contained in Schedule IV have a low potential for abuse when compared with drugs in Schedules I, II and III, can lead to limited psychic dependence or physical dependence, and have some accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Some well-known Schedule IV drugs are as follows:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Barbituates

Substances in Schedule V

A substance is classified in Schedule V if it has low potential for abuse relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV; has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and has limited potential for physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances listed in Schedule IV. These substances, many of which are sold in pharmacies and drug stores over the counter, must contain:

  • 200 milligrams or less of codeine
  • 100 milligrams or less of dihydrocodeine
  • 50 milligrams or less of ethylmorphine
  • 2.5 milligrams or less of diphenoxylate
  • 100 milligrams or less of opium

Examples of CDS Charges in New Jersey

Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in NJ

The most predominant drug charge in New Jersey is possession of CDS, which is outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, and states the following:

a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.).

The statute then goes on to distinguish among CDS in Schedules I, II, III, IV, marijuana, and drugs in Schedule V. Specifically, possession of any drug other than marijuana in Schedules I through IV is a third degree crime. Possession of marijuana is either a disorderly persons offense or a fourth degree crime depending on the amount. And Schedule V drug possession is a fourth degree crime.

New Jersey CDS Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing

The second common charge is for manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing CDS (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5). These crimes are graded based on the specific substance involved and the amount. NJ law criminalizes making and selling drugs with respect to:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Drugs in Schedules I and II
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, acid)
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstacy (aka Molly, MDMA)
  • Any other CDS in Schedule I, II, III or I; and
  • Drugs in Schedule V

How is CDS Defined in the New Jersey Statutes?

New Jersey Statute 2c:35-2 provides the following definition for Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS):

“Controlled dangerous substance” means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V, any substance the distribution of which is specifically prohibited in N.J.S.2C:35-3, in section 3 of 2C:35-5.2, in section 5 of 2C:35-5.3, in section 2 of 2C:35-5.3a, or in section 2 of 2C:35-5.3b, and any drug or substance which, when ingested, is metabolized or otherwise becomes a controlled dangerous substance in the human body. When any statute refers to controlled dangerous substances, or to a specific controlled dangerous substance, it shall also be deemed to refer to any drug or substance which, when ingested, is metabolized or otherwise becomes a controlled dangerous substance or the specific controlled dangerous substance, and to any substance that is an immediate precursor of a controlled dangerous substance or the specific controlled dangerous substance. The term shall not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, as those terms are defined or used in R.S.33:1-1 et seq., or tobacco and tobacco products. The term, wherever it appears in any law or administrative regulation of this State, shall include controlled substance analogs.

Defending CDS Charges

CDS charges are best dealt with by attacking the search that led to law-enforcement officers finding and seizing the CDS in question. Police officers cannot just search a vehicle or a house or a person unless they obtain a warrant or are justified under the limited warrant exceptions under state and federal constitutional protections. A skilled experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to file a motion to suppress  illegally obtained CDS and ask the right questions of the police at the suppression hearing so that the charges are ultimately suppressed and dismissed. Our office has handled thousands of CDS cases successfully

The law offices of Carlos Diaz-Cobo is experienced and committed to successfully defending individuals accused of a CDS charge. Call the Law Offices of Carlos Diaz-Cobo at 732-249-1125.