What You Need to Know About Drug Possession Charges Under New Jersey Law
New Jersey law is designed to allow non-violent offenders to seek rehabilitation and avoid jail time, particularly in drug possession cases. However, just because the system is set up like this, it doesn’t mean that you will automatically avoid the maximum sentence. You need to take any criminal charge, including a drug possession arrest, seriously as it could impact the rest of your life.
You need to immediately hire an experienced New Jersey drug possession defense lawyer to fight for your rights and avoid a conviction or serious penalties.
What is a Drug Possession Charge in New Jersey?
Drug possession charges in New Jersey include possession, using, being under the influence of, or failing to properly dispose of controlled dangerous substances, unless they were legally prescribed.
New Jersey law holds drug possession as a third-degree offense in most cases, punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $35,000. This applies to Schedule I, II, III or IV controlled dangerous substances, as well as counterfeit versions of these types of drugs and their analogs, closely matching substitutes.
Marijuana v. Other Controlled Drugs
Although marijuana continues to be held as a Schedule I drug (as well as heroin, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA and other hard drugs), it is nevertheless treated differently. Possession of 50 grams (1.76 ounces) or less of marijuana without a prescription under the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP), or 5 grams or less of hashish can result in a disorderly persons charge heard in municipal. A conviction may be punishable by a fine up to $1,000.
Possession of more than 50 grams or more of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish is considered a fourth-degree offense. It is punishable by a maximum of 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Possession of a Schedule V controlled dangerous substance, such as prescription drugs with low doses of codeine, dihydrocodeine, ethylmorphine, diphenoxylate, opium, etc., is also considered a fourth-degree offense. The punishment, if convicted on this offense, incudes up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The court has the discretion of doubling penalties for a second or subsequent drug possession offense.
Call Us Today!
If you are facing a drug arrest in New Jersey, you have the right to remain silent and to speak with an attorney. The experienced New Jersey drug possession defense lawyers l at Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC have the experience and dedication to protect your legal rights and help you avoid harsh penalties and consequences of a conviction.
Call us at 908-355-7100 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one lawyers today.