New Jersey handles illegal drug possession much like many other states in the U.S. It is a serious offense, with repercussions ranging across a broad spectrum. The possession of illicit drugs is punishable with fines, jail time, community service, and more. Depending on the class and amount of drugs one has in his or her possession, the penalties can be more severe. The intent to distribute may come with even more jail time, with no chance of parole. If you or a loved one are facing charges of illegal drug possession in New Jersey, you must learn as much as possible to mitigate the damage. The following information will explain the details you need to know. After reading this, reach out to an attorney for more information and insight into your options.
What Is Illegal Drug Possession?
Illegal drug possession is the crime of having one or more drugs on your person that are illegal in the state you’ve been stopped in by law enforcement.
The severity of the crime depends on several factors, such as the amount of drugs in your possession, the type of drug, personal circumstances, and whether it’s deemed you intended to use the drugs for personal use, distribution, sale, or otherwise.
Which Drugs Are Illegal in New Jersey?
None of the controlled or dangerous substances are legal in New Jersey, and this includes marijuana. Some of the other common narcotics are cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, acid, GBH, ecstasy, and other stimulants, opiates, and hallucinogens, all of which are illegal.
It’s also illegal to have unauthorized prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia.
What Happens If You Are Arrested for Illegal Drug Possession?
If the police arrest you for illegal drug possession, you must ride with them to the police station for formal questioning. It’s advisable not to talk about the accusations or situation at this point until you’ve spoken to a lawyer.
The law grants you one phone call once you arrive at the station. If you have a lawyer, this is the time to give him or her a call. If you do not have an attorney, call a family member and ask them to find you one.
Otherwise, you’ll the state will appoint you a lawyer. This can take longer than using a lawyer of your choosing, and you might not be as happy with the standard of representation. In many cases, it’s advisable to hire your own lawyer.
Possible Sentences If Convicted of Illegal Drug Possession
If convicted, a sentence varies depending on the type of drug, amount of drugs in your possession, and your circumstances, but you can expect:
Possession of 50 grams of marijuana or less – Up to 6 months in prison, up to $1,000 fine, loss of driver’s license, and drug rehabilitation programs.
Having more than 50 grams of marijuana – Up to 18 months in prison, up to $15,000 fine.
Possession of controlled and dangerous substances such as cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, GBH, and other stimulants, opiates, and other illegal narcotics – 3-5 years in prison, a fine of $1,000-$25,000, loss of driver’s license, and drug rehabilitation programs.
10 Facts About Illegal Drug Possession in New Jersey
- There are fines of up to $1,000 if police find you with up to 50 grams of marijuana.
- Perpetrators face third-degree indictable offense for possession of unauthorized prescription drugs.
- You can face up to 5 years in prison, loss of your driving license, and a fine of $1,000-$25,000 for the possession of narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, acid, methamphetamine, and ecstasy.
- Cocaine is the primary threat in New Jersey, with heroin the second most problematic drug.
- In 2006, a survey found that an estimated 650,000 New Jersey residents had used marijuana within the previous year.
- The same survey found that more than 250,000 residents had abused some form of prescription pain killers.
- The survey also found that more than 130,000 residents admitted to using cocaine.
- More than 3,000 people died of drug overdoses in New Jersey in 2018.
- It’s estimated that more than 128,000 people in New Jersey were addicted to heroin in 2015.
- Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, was responsible for around half the drug-related deaths in 2017.
Speak to a Lawyer About Your Drug Charges
Are you facing drug charges and in need of assistance? The Law Office of Douglas Herring may be able to help if the police claim you had illegal drugs. Also known as Controlled Dangers Substances (CDS), illicit drugs can change the course of your life forever. Do not allow one mistake to affect you for the rest of your life negatively. Speak to a member of our legal team who can inform you of your rights and options. Call the Law Office of Douglas Herring at (609) 201-0155 today for a free case consultation.