What to Expect: Drug Possession Charges in NJ
May 1, 2020
Medical marijuana has taken the world by storm. It’s become so ubiquitous in some New Jersey citizen’s lives that dispensaries are currently being considered “critical” businesses that must remain open throughout the Covid-19 global crisis.
Despite this distinction, it may come as a shock that it’s still illegal in our state to get caught possessing marijuana and other drugs. Don’t be fooled by the media; police officers can and will still arrest you if they catch you breaking the law. You could even go to jail if you’re holding on to marijuana without a medical license! Learn everything you need to know about our state’s drug possession laws and what to do if you get arrested below.
New Jersey’s Drug Possession Laws
New Jersey state laws make it a crime for anyone to possess a controlled dangerous substance, which includes drugs like marijuana, heroin, LSD and others. The only exception is if you possess a valid prescription for medical marijuana.
If you don’t have a prescription, then the severity of your offense hinges on what type of drug you were caught with and how much. Here’s an overview of the penalties you could face:
- Any amount of cocaine, meth or heroin: 3rd-degree crime (3-5 years in jail, fines of $35,000)
- Less than 50 grams of marijuana: Disorderly person offense (6 months in jail, fines of up to $1,000)
- More than 50 grams of marijuana: 4th-degree crime (18 months in jail and fines of up to $15,000)
- Any amount of prescription pills: 3rd-degree crime (3-5 years in jail, fines up to $35,000)
Drug possession isn’t the only crime you could get charged with, though. If you were holding a significant amount, then you could get charged with possession with the intent to distribute the substance. If you’re caught with things like rolling papers or a bowl, then you could also get charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.
What to Do After a Drug Possession Arrest
After your arrest, the police will take away the controlled substance. They’ll put you in handcuffs and place you in the back of a police cruiser. Once you’re behind bars, you’ll be forced to come up with bail money or await a future trial date.
If you’re currently facing this situation, then it’s advised you reach out to a criminal defense attorney for help. If you’ve never been arrested before, then you may have options like going into a diversionary program.
Contact an Experienced Freehold Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Drug Possession Charges in Freehold
Were you arrested or charged with 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 case. The attorneys at Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio LLC have successfully represented clients charged with drug possession in Freehold, Woodbridge, Princeton, Mount Laurel, Jersey City, and throughout New Jersey. Call (800) 418-8578 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 4400 Route 9 South, Suite 1000, Freehold, NJ 07728 as well as offices located in Woodbridge, Princeton, Mount Laurel, and Jersey City.
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.