While other states have passed laws not only decriminalizing but legalizing marijuana for recreational use, New Jersey still considers it to be an offense. Whether this offense will be charged as a disorderly persons offense or a drug crime all depends on the amount an individual had in their possession and their intent. Generally, individuals caught with under 50 grams will be charged with a disorderly persons offense, whereas individuals who sell or traffic marijuana may face steeper charges.
At Kahn, Gigliotti & Lehrfeld, our South Jersey marijuana lawyers have successfully represented individuals charged with drug crimes in New Jersey. While the state’s drug laws may seem antiquated to many, it does not mean that authorities do not enforce them. Having a drug offense on one’s record can severely impact their ability to find a job in the future, qualify for a loan, or rent an apartment.
While no cases are the same, marijuana offenses in New Jersey are ruled as possession, sale, or trafficking.
Individuals who are carrying under 50 grams of marijuana are usually charged with possession, which can result in a disorderly persons offense with up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, as well as community service hours. Note that the fine can be increased if the offender was within 1,000 feet of a school.
Individuals who are in possession of 50 grams or more face felony charges and up to 18 months in jail and $25,000 in fines.
Individuals with less than one ounce can be charged with a fourth degree crime and 18 months of jail and $25,000 in fines. One ounce to five pounds will be charged as a third degree crime with three to five years in prison and $25,000 fine. Five to 25 pounds is a second degree crime with five to 10 years in prison and a $150,000. Finally, individuals who have over 25 pounds of marijuana in their possession are charged with first degree crimes and face between 10 to 25 years in prison and a $300,000 fine.
If it is determined that an individual is the head of a narcotics trafficking network, then they may face 25 years in prison and/or $500,000 in fines.
Cultivating marijuana plants can result in serious consequences. An individual growing more than 10 marijuana plants in New Jersey can face a drug manufacturing offense with steeper penalties.
A drug cultivation charge in New Jersey is nothing to be taken lightly. Those who find themselves with a cultivation charge should seek skilled legal representation immediately.
Individuals who possess drug paraphernalia in New Jersey can face a disorderly persons offense, a $1,000 fine, and possibly six months imprisonment. Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a much more serious offense and can result in three to five years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.