If you are caught in possession of illegal narcotics, penalties can range from misdemeanors to felonies, probation to jail time, depending on a number of factors. In New Jersey, the severity of punishment for drug possession depends on the type of drug carried, the amount you have on you, and other circumstances that could make the charges more serious. Here is a short guide to drug possession laws in New Jersey.
As national and criminal justice attitudes have changed with regards to possession of marijuana, it is usually treated differently than other controlled dangerous substances (a federal term for illegal drugs, abbreviated as CDS). Medical marijuana use is currently allowed in the state, and legislators are currently working on a bill that could make recreational use legal.
Possession of Other Illegal Narcotics
New Jersey criminal law divides possession charges into 5 “Schedules.” Schedule I is the most severe, naming the drugs that are they most dangerous and carry the highest risk of addiction and death. Schedules II, III, IV, and V classify drugs in decreasing order of danger, addictive quality, and possible medical uses. Dangerous street drugs like heroin and cocaine fall under Schedules I and II, depending on how much a defendant has with them at the time. If convicted of possessing an illegal substance under New Jersey law, you could face a fine of up to $25,000, the loss of your driver’s license, three to five years in prison, and mandatory drug education and rehabilitation programs. Being in possession of drug paraphernalia can also earn criminal charges. Punishment for a conviction under this law includes up to 6 months in prison, up to $1,000 in fines, and a suspended license for up to 2 years. Previous convictions can also increase the severity of your punishment.
Seek Proper Legal Help If Arrested For Possession!
If you are arrested for possessing a CDS in New Jersey, the first thing to do is to contact an experienced criminal law attorney. The main aim is make sure that you do not acquire a criminal record as a result of your drug charges. An attorney can look at possible evidentiary issues to try to get the charges dismissed, or if that is not possible, negotiating a favorable plea deal for an offender. Early intervention, conditional discharges, and other alternative sentencing programs can help first time offenders get help for a drug addiction and avoid a damaging criminal record. A conviction is on your criminal record forever, and you’ll want to do all that is possible to avoid one for a brighter future.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges Today!
Were you arrested or charged for drug possession in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your drug crime case. The Law Offices of Stephen R. Piper have successfully represented clients charged with possession in Burlington County, Camden County, and beyond. Call 856-861-3330 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at the Strawbridge Professional Center of Moorestown, 212 W Route 38, Ste 440, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.