Marijuana Possession & Distribution

We  represent individuals charged with drug possession and distribution throughout New Jersey.  Whether your charges are in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, Mercer County, or anywhere else in NJ, we can help. Have you been charged with a drug related offense in New Jersey including possession of drug paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute, possession in a school zone, or possession within proximity to a public housing facility or park? If so, proper legal counsel can you help you navigate the legal system. The team of drug crimes lawyers at the Moriarty Law Firm have spent years building a reputation that is second to none in the legal community.  We are available immediately for a free initial consultation, call us at 732-842-7773 or contact us by email.

Simple Possession of Marijuana in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 governs possession of marijuana in New Jersey and provides in pertinent part:

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

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, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226. Any person who violates this section with respect to:

(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.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 25,000.00 may be imposed; or

(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 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.

b. 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.
In a prosecution under this subsection, it shall not be necessary for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of any specific drug, but it shall be sufficient for a conviction under this subsection for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of some controlled dangerous substance, counterfeit controlled dangerous substance, or controlled substance analog, by proving that the accused did manifest physical and physiological symptoms or reactions caused by the use of any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.

c. Any person who knowingly obtains or possesses a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog in violation of subsection a. of this section and who fails to voluntarily deliver the substance to the nearest law enforcement officer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude a prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this title or any other statute.

Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in New Jersey

A drug possession charge for fifty (50) grams or more of marijuana is a fourth degree charge. This is an indictable offense and will typically be handled at the county level. Possession of fifty (50) grams or less of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense. Further, your charges will be enhanced if you possess marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school zone. Depending on the charges, your drug charge may be subject to a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention or a conditional discharge. As a result, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense and drug possession lawyer to defend you.

Possession with Intent to Distribute in NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 governs drug charges for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute which states:

§ 2C:35-5. Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing

a. Except as authorized by P.L. 1970, c. 226, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:

(1) To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or

(2) To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.

b. Any person who violates subsection a. with respect to:

(10) (a) Marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of five pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 300,000.00 may be imposed;

(b) Marijuana in a quantity of five pounds or more but less than 25 pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or 10 or more but fewer than 50 marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of one pound or more but less than five pounds, including any adulterants and dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

(11) Marijuana in a quantity of one ounce or more but less than five pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of five grams or more but less than one pound including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 25,000.00 may be imposed;

(12) Marijuana in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of less than five grams including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree;

Penalties for Distribution of Marijuana in New Jersey

The penalties for marijuana possession with intent to distribute depend on the weight of the drug in your possession. If you are charged with possession with intent to distribute of 25 pounds or more of marijuana, it is a first-degree offense. If you are caught with more than 5 pounds but less than 25 pounds, it is a second degree offense. If you are picked up with one ounce or more but less than 5 pounds, it is a third degree offense. Finally, if you are charged with possession with intent to distribute of less than one ounce, it is a fourth degree criminal charge in New Jersey.

We Handle All Types of Criminal Charges

Criminal charges can be brought in either the Municipal or Superior court. The more severe the criminal charges the more likely they are to be handled in Superior Court, while minor charges are typically resolved in Municipal Court. We have a well deserved reputation for being the best in both arenas.

The severity of your charges is a determination made by the State and is usually based on a variety of factors. Penalties will vary based on the degree of the crime and whether or not there was a criminal conspiracy involved.

Call 732-842-7773 to speak with one of the Moriartys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your charges or you can contact us by e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation.