What are the drug crime consequences in New Jersey?

handcuffs with fingerprints

New Jersey takes drug crime consequences seriously. The possession of illegal drugs is considered a serious crime in New Jersey and charges may lead to harsh penalties and convictions. Consequences of drug possession change depending on the circumstances surrounding the possession and the drug. However, all penalties for drug crimes are severe. If you are facing drug charges, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights in court. Continue reading to discover the consequences for drug possession for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs.


If an individual is found with the possession of under 50 grams of marijuana without medical necessity, it is considered a disorderly persons offense. This may require 100 hours of community service. However, if this crime was within 1,000 feet of a school, the penalties may change and worsen. It is considered a felony if an individual is found with over 50 grams of marijuana and may result in a $25,000 fine and up to 18 months in prison.


Cocaine possession of less than a half-ounce of cocaine is known as a third-degree offense of simple possession. This third-degree offense may result in a fine between $35,000 and $75,000 with a prison sentence of up to 5 years. This may include the loss of your driver’s license. Cocaine possession can also result in the penalties of enrollment in a mandatory drug education and rehabilitation program, plus 100 hours of community service if you were caught with cocaine within 100 feet of a school.


Heroin possession is considered a third-degree crime regardless of how much heroin you are found in possession of. You may also be charged with a penalty of up to $35,000 and up to a five-year prison sentence. These penalties may increase if the individual was found with heroin near a park, public house, or school. Penalties may also increase depending on if there was an intent to distribute or sell the heroin.

Prescription Drugs

Depending on how the drugs were obtained and the amount the individual possessed when charged, prescription drug possession penalties may vary. Penalties may vary depending on if this was the individual’s first offense or if they are a recurring offender. Illegal possession of prescription drugs may face penalties from $1,000 to $300,000 and there may be a charge of theft if the drugs were obtained without a prescription. There is also a possibility of spending 6 months in jail and up to 10 years in prison.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

When someone is charged with a crime, they have a lot to consider. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are here to help. No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need.

Read Our
Latest Blogs

View More Blogs
Can I fight drug trafficking charges in New Jersey?

In the state of New Jersey, drug trafficking is one of the most serious criminal offenses you can be charged with. Essentially…

Read More
Does New Jersey offer hardship or conditional driver’s license to those convicted of DWI?

When you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, you are violating New Jersey's traffic laws and will…

Read More
What are the factors that determine the severity of a felony conviction in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, depending on the particular crime you commit, there is a range of appropriate penalties that the law finds equivalent…

Read More

Contact The Law Office of
Michael A. Policastro

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.