While the stigma of the use and possession of small quantities of certain drugs such as marijuana have become more relaxed in recent years, state and federal law enforcement officials still place a high priority on many kinds of drug offenses. In cities such as New Brunswick, Perth Amboy or Trenton, and throughout New Jersey, simple drug possession charges and resulting penalties can run the gamut from a simple fine to imprisonment and fines ranging thousands of dollars.
Because no two drug possession cases are alike, a seasoned drug defense lawyer is essential in helping to navigate the many layers and nuances of New Jersey drug laws. However, in general, the state’s drug possession laws can be quite severe.
Consider the following:
- If you possess less than 50 grams (1.75 ounces) of marijuana, you face a disorderly persons offense, punishable by up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, loss of a driver’s license and drug rehab.
- Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana can result in up to 18 months in jail and up to a $15,000 fine.
- Possession of narcotics or controlled dangerous substances which include cocaine, heroin, acid, ecstasy, GHB and all other stimulants, hallucinogens, opiates and depressants can result in three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, loss of a driver’s license and mandatory drug rehab and education programs.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia can result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, along with suspension of a driver’s license for up to two years.
- Simple possession of unauthorized prescription drugs can lead to up to five years in prison.
- Possession of larger quantities of marijuana, heroin, cocaine or hallucinogens may lead to first, second, third or fourth degree indictable offenses, depending on the quantity and the substance. Penalties for larger quantities can result in significant fines and jail time.
Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq is a full service New Jersey law firm with offices in Elizabeth, Freehold, Hackensack, Newark, New Bruswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield and Trenton.