What Are The Penalties For A Drug Conviction?

Getting caught with any type of illegal or unprescribed drug in New Jersey can lead to some very serious criminal consequences, depending on the type of drug crime you are facing and the type and amount of drug involved. Below are the general consequences of a drug conviction.

Drug Possession

Simple possession of marijuana, more than 50 grams: Up to 18 months in prison; $500-$15,000 fines; loss of driver's license; drug rehabilitation classes

  • Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense and punishable by up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,000.

Possession of narcotics/controlled substances: Anywhere from three to five years in prison; $1,000-$25,000 fines; loss of driver's license; drug education and rehabilitation classes

Possession of drug paraphernalia: Note that this is an additional charge! Six months in prison; $500-$1,000 fines; driver's license suspension

Possession With Intent To Distribute

In New Jersey, illegal drugs are divided into schedules. Schedule I, II and III drugs — such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines — carry the most severe penalties. The quantity of drugs involved also influences the consequences.

Distribution of less than half an ounce of heroin or cocaine: Anywhere from three to five years in prison; up to $75,000 in fines

  • Methamphetamines: Up to five years in prison, up to $75,000 in fines

Distribution of half an ounce to less than five ounces of heroin or cocaine: Anywhere from 5 to 10 years in prison; up to $150,000 in fines

  • Methamphetamines: Up to 10 years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines

Distribution of over five ounces of heroin or cocaine: Up to 20 years in prison; mandatory service of at least one-third of the sentence; fines up to $500,000

  • Methamphetamines: Up to 20 years in prison, up to $300,000 in fines

Distribution of marijuana:

  • Less than one ounce: Up to 18 months in prison, fines up to $10,000
  • One ounce to less than five pounds: Up to five years in prison, fines up to $25,000
  • Five pounds to less than 25 pounds: Up to 10 years in prison, fines up to $150,000
  • Twenty-five pounds or more: Up to 20 years in prison, fines up to $300,000

Cops have been cracking down on social drug use. Many users find themselves charged with drug distribution after sharing drugs with friends at parties.

You Need An Attorney — It's The Only Way To Protect Yourself

Even after the legal penalties are over, the social consequences of a drug conviction will follow you for life. As a drug offender, you may not be able to get into college or graduate school. If you do, you won't be eligible for federal financial aid. You could struggle to find a job or housing. The only way to protect yourself from these consequences is to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Do not plead guilty or try to work out a deal with prosecutors on your own. I have more than 20 years of legal experience — including time spent working as a prosecutor. I know how to build a strong defense that gets you the best result possible. Don't take a chance on your future; call me now at 800-375-3499 or contact me online.