New Jersey Drug Possession Laws—An Overview

Understanding New Jersey’s Drug Possession Offenses

In New Jersey, while law enforcement officers take a tough stance on the illegal use or possession of controlled substances, the charges and potential penalties can vary significantly. Some are disorderly persons offenses, similar to a misdemeanor in other states. Most, however, are indictable offenses, with potential penalties of more than one year in prison.

Drug Possession in New Jersey

The New Jersey laws distinguish between four basic types of illegal drug possession:

  • Possession of marijuana—Possession of less than 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense. You can face a jail term of up to six months, a fine of no more than $1,000, the possible loss of your drivers license, and mandatory drug rehab. If you are caught with more than 50 grams, you can be charged with an indictable offense, and could pay as much as $15,000 and spend 18 months in prison.
  • Possession of narcotics or “controlled dangerous substances (CDRs)”—Generally, all other illegal drugs are considered controlled dangerous substances. Simple possession is an indictable offense, with a potential three-to-five year prison sentence, up to $25,000 in fines, loss of driving privileges, and compulsory drug education and rehabilitation.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia—Even if you don’t have illegal drugs in your possession, you can be charged with violation of the law if you have items that are generally, exclusively or in combination used to obtain a high from an illegal drug. This may include bongs, pipes, rolling papers, needles, balloons, roach clips and even baggies. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a disorderly persons offense, with a possible six month incarceration, fines of up to $1,000 and suspension of your drivers license.
  • Unauthorized possession of prescription drugs—If you are arrested in possession of prescription drugs, but do not have a valid prescription from a licensed physician, you can face prosecution for a third-degree indictable offense, with a potential penalty of up to five years in prison.

Contact Mallon & Tranger

If you or someone you love is under investigation for or has been charged with violating New Jersey’s drug laws, contact us online or call a criminal defense attorney at 732-780-0230. There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.

Our Office Locations

Freehold

86 Court Street,
Freehold NJ 07728

Telephone: 732-780-0230
Fax: 732-780-5002

Toms River

250 Washington St
Toms River NJ 08753

Telephone: 732-780-0230
Fax: 732-780-5002

Point Pleasant

3247 Route 88
Point Pleasant NJ 08742

Telephone: 732-780-0230
Fax: 732-780-5002