Today Your Legal Corner will discuss ” Know the penalties for illegal drug possession before a bad decision is made.”
If you ask any parent about their kids, most will respond by saying, I am blessed…I have really good kids. The problem is that statistically for a variety of reasons; even good kids make mistakes and try bad things. And sometimes…it only takes one bad choice to change a life. That is why it is so important to discuss the penalties for drug possession of controlled dangerous substances before it is too late.
In New Jersey, the penalties for drug possession of controlled dangerous substances depend on the type of drug and the amount of the drug in your possession. Consider the basic penalties for drug possession charges in New Jersey for marijuana, unauthorized prescription drugs and narcotics as listed below.
Possession of marijuana
For an adult, 18 years of age and older, possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense in which an individual may face a fine of $1000, loss of driver’s license, drug rehabilitation and six months in jail. If it is a first offense, there may be diversionary options available.
The challenge with discussing marijuana is that it is legal in some states depending on its use. A strong guide to consider when discussing marijuana should always begin with: Is marijuana legal in the State of New Jersey? Is there a medicinal exception? Reasons?
Possession of Unauthorized prescription drugs
Simple possession of unauthorized prescription drugs can result in being charged with a third degree indictable offense, with maximum penalties of up to five years in prison and substantial fines.
This particular drug scares me the most as college students often share prescriptions studying for that big exam, not thinking of the severe penalties involved should they be stopped running to the convenience store for a late night snack.
Prescription drugs that are shared as well as marijuana use are simply not viewed as dangerous drugs by the young compared to a narcotic like heroin. Because of this misconception; therein lies the true danger.
Possession of Narcotics
Possession of narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, acid, ecstasy, as well as others are a third degree offense which may result in up to five years in prison, a fine of $1000 to $25,000, loss of driver’s license, mandatory drug education and rehabilitation programs.
Tips to consider
When legally in trouble, having an experienced criminal defense attorney will help navigate uncharted waters and provide some peace of mind regardless of the outcome. If warranted, an experienced criminal defense attorney in this particular area of law may even be able to minimize sentencing outcomes.
Drugs can ruin the life of your child as well as everyone around them. As parents, the ideal situation is to have a frank discussion of all the consequences which they may encounter before they think about going down that road. Informing your son or daughter may even help a good kid decide not to make a bad decision.
Till next time, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner will discuss “Legal Sentencing Alternatives for First Time Offenders.”
Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law offices of Hoffman DiMuzio.
For questions, contact Victoria at [email protected].
Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice.