Distribution of Marijuana in New Jersey
While all states have laws governing the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), each varies in how it defines substances and the penalties for possession. The state of New Jersey considers cocaine, heroin, and marijuana as controlled substances, along with compounds used to manufacture them.
classifies controlled substances into five schedules. The list of Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous with the highest risk of addiction and abuse and no medical value. The penalty for possession of a controlled substance in New Jersey depends on the type of drug and the amount found.
Drug Possession Laws
Under New Jersey law, criminal possession of drugs is defined as “intentional control and dominion” as well as the knowledge of what the item is. Actual possession means that the drugs or substances were on your person or directly in your control. Constructive possession, meanwhile, is a complicated area, and this is when it is worthwhile to take your case to trial if pre-trial issues cannot resolve your case.
In , controlled substances are graded on a schedule. Possession of any commonly used substance, besides hashish and marijuana, is an indictable charge in the third degree. This includes ecstasy, OxyContin, cocaine, and heroin.
Penalties for Drug Possession
The following are some of the most common drug charges:
- Possession of Marijuana. If you are found in possession of less than 50 grams, you are facing a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) with a penalty of up to 6 months in prison, a suspended driver’s license, rehab, and fines of up to $1,000. Possession of more than 50 grams is an indictable fourth degree offense (felony), punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Possession of Narcotics or Controlled Dangerous Substances. This includes cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, acid, GBH, and other stimulants, hallucinogens, opiates, narcotics, and stimulants made illegal. This charge carries a penalty of 3-5 years in prison, hefty fines, loss of your driver’s license, and mandatory drug education and/or rehabilitation.
- Simple Possession of Unauthorized Prescription Drugs. This may be a third degree indictable offense with a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison.
You may face even stiffer penalties if you are found in possession of controlled substances while within 1,000 feet of school property or a school bus.
Contact Us Today
Are you facing charges for possession of a controlled substance or even intent to distribute Drug charges are very serious. Along with facing jail or prison time and hefty fees, you may also lose your license or risk life-long consequences with an indictable offense on your permanent criminal record. Contact New Jersey drug crime defense attorney Mark A. Bernstein today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and craft a defense.