Will I Go to Jail for Drug Manufacturing in New Jersey?

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illegal crystalized drugs

New Jersey legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2021, but there are still many drugs that are illegal to both manufacture and possess. Certain drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are derived from plants and chemicals, respectively. With the right tools and knowledge, an average person is able to manufacture illicit drugs. This is a serious issue as many drugs are dangerous to use without cause. These dangerous drugs can cause serious harm and even death when misused. If you manufacture or possess controlled drugs without a license to do so or a valid prescription, you could be charged with drug manufacturing. Contact a Mercer County drug crimes lawyer to discuss the details of your case and learn about the penalties associated with drug crimes in New Jersey.

What is Drug Manufacturing?

According to New Jersey state law, it is illegal for any person to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or possess a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense it. It is also illegal to create, distribute, possess, or intend to distribute a counterfeit controlled substance.

What Drugs Are Considered Controlled or Illegal?

Controlled dangerous substances are divided into five categories, Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V. If you are caught manufacturing any of the substances listed in those categories you could be convicted. Drugs that are illegal to manufacture can include the following and more.

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone

Manufacturing or distributing any of the above could land you in serious legal trouble. The following are the classifications of crimes by the type of drug and amount.


  • 5 ounces or more of heroin
  • 5 ounces or more of cocaine
  • 5 ounces or more of methamphetamine
  • 100 mg or more of LSD


  • 0.5 to 5 ounces of heroin
  • 0.5 to 5 ounces of cocaine
  • 0.5 to 5 ounces of methamphetamine
  • Less than 100 mg of LSD
  • 1 ounce or more of other Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances


  • Less than 0.5 ounces of heroin
  • Less than 0.5 ounces of cocaine
  • Less than 0.5 ounces of methamphetamine
  • Less than 1 ounce of other Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances

What Are the Penalties for Drug Manufacturing in NJ?

New Jersey is stringent when it comes to the legal consequences of drug manufacturing. Each charge will vary in terms of prison time and fines. In addition to these two severe penalties, any conviction can result in probation, community service, mandatory rehabilitation, and more. Charges and sentencing will depend on the defendant’s prior criminal history, the amount of drugs involved, and other aggravating factors. Standard penalties are listed below.

  • First-degree offense:
    • Fines of up to $300,000
    • Imprisonment of 10 to 20 years
  • Second-degree offense:
    • Fines of up to $150,000
    • Imprisonment of 5 to 10 years
  • Third-degree offense:
    • Fines of up to $25,000
    • Imprisonment of 3 to 5 years

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