While some states are stricter than others, all of them enact drug penalties to combat illegal drugs. New Jersey has exceptions for medical marijuana but prohibits certain amounts of recreational marijuana illegal and restricts some legal substances. As a result, a person in New Jersey who gets a drug charge may face several penalties.
Drug possession means a person is accused of having one or more illegal substance in their possession, and charges are based on the amount and type of substance. Charges may range from first- to fourth-degree offenses or a felony. First-time penalties for 50 grams or less of marijuana commonly count as a fourth-degree charge and include up to six months of jail and a $1,000 fine.
A defendant could be sentenced to up to 18 months of jail and a $15,000 fine for more than 50 grams of marijuana. A simple possession of any amount of cocaine or heroine could get the defendant a third-degree charge, a $35,000 fine and a three- to five-year jail sentence. Penalties may increase if the defendant gets caught near a school, a public park or public housing.
Simple possession prescription drugs
New Jersey makes possessing a prescription drug knowingly or constructively without a valid prescription illegal. Constructive possession means the person is in control of the substance but does not physically possess it.
Most times, people don’t know they could get charged for possessing a legal prescription in another container. If a container has more than a 10-day supply, they police may suspect that the person has plans to sell it.
They could get a $1,000 fine for not being able to name the doctor or medication. If they get caught driving while impaired on a substance, they may face a DWI charge. Forging a prescription often includes penalties of three to five years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
Criminal law requires the prosecution to prove the charges against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the defendant still needs a strong defense to fight the charges.