While some states have relaxed the penalties regarding certain drug crimes in recent times, New Jersey’s drug laws are still strict and can result in severe fines and jail time. If you are charged with a drug crime, you will need to retain the services of an experienced drug crimes attorney immediately to give you the best possible chance of being found innocent or plea bargaining a deal down to a lesser offense.
Penalties for drug possession
The severity of your punishment, if found guilty for drug possession in New Jersey, will vary depending on two factors: the amount and the type of drug.
For example, if you are convicted of possession of fewer than 50 grams of marijuana, you will face a disorderly persons offense, which can result in up to 6 months in prison, a $1,000 fine, mandatory participation in a drug rehabilitation program, and the loss of your driver’s license. Possession of more than 50 grams is a 4th-degree criminal offense and can result in up to 18 months in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. Possession of narcotics or dangerous controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and other related illegal narcotics and opiates can mean 3 to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, plus the loss of your driver’s license and being required to attend drug education programs.
Penalties for drug manufacturing and drug distribution
As you might guess, conviction of drug manufacturing or distribution will result in steep penalties. When the drug is marijuana, the charged crime will vary from a 4th-degree offense to a 1st-degree offense, depending on the quantity. The most severe of these is when the quantity is more than 25 pounds, which can result in several years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Heroin and cocaine manufacturing and distribution penalties are just as severe with the most serious charges involving five or more ounces.
If you are charged with a drug crime, you need to contact the Law Offices of Patricia Eiges immediately. There are several possible defenses that can be employed in a drug crime charge, but the key is to craft an effective defense as soon as possible to give you the best chance at retaining your freedom or incurring the least amount of jail time and fines possible.
The Law Offices of Patricia Eiges serves clients in Hazlet and other surrounding New Jersey communities. Call today to schedule a free consultation.