Table of Contents

Table of Contents

NJ Marijuana Possession Charges

NJ marijuana possession charges can carry serious consequences.

Remember, it’s all about the “weight”!

If you have a few grams, we understand that you’re a fan of legalizing weed.

But, if you’re caught with a few ounces, chances are good that you’re dealing.

While some people applaud your entrepreneurial inclinations, the law will punish you.

We’ve created a simple and easy to read “quick-reference” chart to help you.

In addition, we answer your most important questions within this blog.

NJ Marijuana Law

Description
Type of Offense
Exposure to Incarceration
Max. Fine
Possession
50 g or less
Disorderly Person
6 months
$ 1,000
More than 50 g
Felony
1.5 years
$ 25,000
Within 1000 feet of a school adds 100 hours of community service, as well as an additional fine.
Distribution
Less than 1 oz
Felony
1.5 years
$ 25,000
1 oz – less than 5 lbs
Felony
3* – 5 years
$ 25,000
5 – less than 25 lbs
Felony
5* – 10 years
$ 150,000
25 lbs or more
Felony
10* – 20 years
$ 300,000
Within 1000 feet of a school or school bus
Felony
3* – 5 years
$ 150,000
Includes possession with the intent to distribute
To minors or pregnant women carries a double term of imprisonment and fine.
* Mandatory minimum sentence
Growing or Cultivating
1 oz – less than 5 lbs (less than 10 plants)
Felony
3* – 5 years
$ 25,000
5 – less than 25 lbs (10 – less than 50 plants)
Felony
5* – 10 years
$ 150,000
More than 25 lbs (50 plants or more)
Felony
10* – 20 years
$ 300,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence
Hashish
Possession of 5 g or less
Disorderly Person
6 months
$ 1,000
Possession of more than 5 g
Felony
6 months
$ 25,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent of less than 5 g
Felony
18 months
$ 10,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent of 5 g – less than 1 lb
Felony
3* – 5 years
$ 25,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent of 1 lb – less than 5 lbs
Felony
5* – 10 years
$ 150,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent of 5 lbs or more
Felony
10* – 20 years
$ 300,000
Within 1000 feet of a school or school bus
Felony
3* – 5 years
$ 150,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence
Paraphernalia
Possession or use of paraphernalia
Disorderly Person
6 months
$ 1,000
Sale of paraphernalia
Felony
18 months
$ 10,000
Important Tips
Failure to turn over marijuana to a police officer is a misdemeanor. Being under the influence of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Potential punishment is listed below in Penalty Details.
If under 17 year, driving privileges shall be suspended for 6 months – 2 years

Will a Marijuana Possession conviction affect employment

There is not a “yes” or “no” answer to this question. Some employers only want employees with impeccable records. Other employers could care less. Yes, it all depends on the type of employment you have or are seeking.
For example, if you are seeking to become a bank cashier, a Disorderly Persons conviction for theft will probably be problematic.
However, if you are seeking employment as a waitress, a conviction for simple marijuana possession can be explained. After all, your employer may have liberal views when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana possession.

Suggestion:
take the first step & Be upfront

If you know that your employer intends to run a background check, beat him to the punch. Be the first to reveal the surprise. In this way, you will have the best opportunity to explain your story. Moreover, your employer will perceive you as honest and trustworthy.
 
Think about it. You may never get an opportunity to explain your Marijuana Possession charge. Once your future employer sees a conviction on your record, you may never get a callback. Take some time at the end of your interview to bring it up. Clear it up and ask your potential employer if he/she has any questions.
Remember, people can be very understanding.

A NJ Marijuana Possession conviction will stay on your record for 5 years

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of simple marijuana possession charges in NJ, you face up to six months in jail and up to a one thousand dollar fine.

You must wait for five years from the date you completed your sentence before you can get an expungement. For example, if you were sentenced to pay fines, the five years start running once you pay all fines.

You face losing your license for a NJ Marijuana Possession Charge

Under the New Jersey criminal code, (N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-16), if you are convicted for any of the marijuana charges listed above, you will lose your driving privileges for at least 6 months and up to 2 years.

important: CDS in a motor vehicle is a separate offense

There’s a separate “non-criminal” offense involving “drugs in a car” that carries serious consequences.

If you’ve been charged with marijuana possession in NJ, chances are very good that the police found the drugs during a traffic stop.

This means that the cops found drugs in your car.

Under N.J.S.A. § 39:4-49.1, if any drugs are found in your car, you face a fine and a MANDATORY 2-year license suspension.

This suspension starts from the date of your conviction.

We’ve devoted an entire article here.

  • Get Help With Your NJ Marijuana Possession Charges

If you would like to meet with us to discuss your case, we offer FREE consultations.

About the Author

Attorney At Law

Mr. Peyrouton is a Criminal Defense Attorney located in Hackensack, NJ.

His articles in the areas of Criminal Law have been published in The New Jersey Law Journal.

He is a distinguished author, trial attorney, and has had the privilege of arguing before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Peyrouton was a world-class, competitive tennis player.

He is perfectly fluent in Spanish.

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About the Author

Attorney At Law

Mr. Peyrouton is a Criminal Defense Attorney located in Hackensak, NJ.

His articles in the areas of Criminal Law have been published in The New Jersey Law Journal.

He is a distinguished author, trial attorney, and has had the privilege of arguing before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Peyrouton was a world-class, competitive tennis player.

He is perfectly fluent in Spanish.

New Jersey Marijuana Law

NJSA 2C:35-10. Possession, use or being under the influence, or failure to make lawful disposition

General Provision

a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice

Third-degree felony

(1) A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $35,000.00 may be imposed;

Fourth-degree felony


(2) Any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $15,000.00 may be imposed;

(3) Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or more than five grams of hashish is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed;

Disorderly Persons Offense (Misdemeanor)

(4) Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person.

Any person who uses or who is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, for a purpose other than the treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or administered by a physician is a disorderly person.

School Zone & Community Service

Any person who commits any offense defined in this section while on any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of any such school property or a school bus, or while on any school bus, and who is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall, in addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, be required to perform not less than 100 hours of community service.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. But if you have a really good lawyer, he may be able to your case “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.