Drug Offenses

Drug possession laws in New Jersey have continued to get more severe. If you’ve been charged with drug possession or other narcotic drug charges, you need answers from a skilled attorney to defend and protect your rights.

Any simple drug possession conviction penalties may include loss or suspension of your driver’s license as part of the penalty. For many people, not being able to drive means that you can’t keep your job and earn a living. It is critical to make sure you have protected all your legal defense options to prevent this from happening to you.

 Don’t give up or plead guilty before exploring and evaluating all of your legal defense options! There are many legitimate defenses to drug possession charges that you will want to thoroughly explore. In most cases there are excellent defense options where we can fight for a dismissal, or get charges substantially reduced.

 NJ Drug Laws and Penalties

The laws and potential penalties for drug charges are not always clear to most people, so free free to take advantage of my free consultation to discuss your situation.

  1. Possession of Marijuana

 For Simple Possession of marijuana (pot), you face the risk of, even on a first offense:

  •  Up to 18 months in jail
  •  Fines from $500-15,000
  •  Loss of driver’s license
  •  Drug Rehabilitation Programs (at your expense)

    2.  Possession of Narcotics / Controlled Substances

For possession of other drugs, including Possession of Cocaine/Crack, Heroin, Meth / Methamphetamines, Speed, or LSD/Acid, Ecstasy, GBH, MMDA, or any other illegal narcotic, stimulant, hallucinogen, opiate, or depressant, First Offense:

  • From 3-5 years in jail
  • Fines from $1000-$25,000 
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • mandatory drug rehabilitation and education programs

Again, these maximum penalties are possible under NJ law for a first offense drug possession charge. For a second or subsequent offense, the risk of stiffer sentencing becomes even greater.

    3.  Other Drug Possession Penalties:

There are also New Jersey drug laws that state that the police may confiscate your car if they find any “controlled dangerous substance”. Getting the best defense from a top lawyer can help lessen the risk of the harshest penalties.

Penalties in New Jersey for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (pipes, bongs, spoons, etc.)

Drug Paraphernalia possession offenses in NJ are very strict. Possession of drug paraphernalia is commonly charged in simple possession cases.

Many legal, common household items may be characterized and charged as possession of drug paraphernalia, adding to the charges and penalties you may face for a drug possession charge.

The prosecutor may use a paraphernalia charge as increased leverage in a narcotics possession case, but we can argue that the charges be dismissed, and the items in question were not drug related.

    4.   Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Penalties in NJ

  •  Up to six months in jail; fines from $500-$1000. License suspension for up to 2 years.

     5.  Possession of Prescription Drugs

 It is illegal to possess any prescription drug not legally prescribed for your use by a doctor. If you cannot prove that prescription medication is yours, you can be charged with illegal possession. Simply transporting legal prescription pills outside of the original bottle could result in an arrest.

 Common prescription drug possession charges include:

  •  Dilaudid
  •  Ambien (Zolpidem)
  •  Codeine
  •  Klonopin (Clonazepam)
  •  Oxycontin
  •  Methadone
  •  Percodan/Percocet
  •  Ritalin
  •  Valium (Diazepam)
  •  Vicodin (Hydrocodone)
  •  Xanax (Alprazolam)
  •  Tramadol (Ultram) pain medication
  •  Fioricet & Imitrex for migraine headaches

Simple possession of unauthorized prescription drugs is usually a third (3rd) degree indictable offense, with maximum penalties of up to 5 years in prison and substantial fines.

     6.  Prescription Drug Fraud

 It is a separate crime in New Jersey to obtain possession of prescription drugs by fraudulent means. This could be by forging prescriptions, stealing blank prescription pads, changing an existing prescription to alter dosage or refills, impersonating someone with a prescription or a doctor by calling in a prescription, and more.

Federal and state drug possession laws make it a crime to willfully possess illegal controlled substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, “club drugs,” and heroin. These laws also criminalize the possession of “precursor” chemicals used in drug cultivation and manufacturing, as well as certain accessories related to drug use. Drug possession laws vary according to drug type, amount, and geographic area of the offense. Possession of small quantities may be deemed “simple” possession, while possession of large amounts may result in a charge of presumed “possession with intent to distribute.”

The Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. represent clients who have been arrested on a variety of drug charges, including prescription drug violations. From the possession of marijuana to the distribution of cocaine, we handle cases involving numerous drugs such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription Pills including Vicodin and Oxycodin

Creating the Best Possible Drug Charge Defense

Part of providing a vigorous and aggressive drug charge defense is helping our clients understand all their options. Sometimes the best thing is to negotiate the best possible plea, while other times we may want to go to trial to get you the best results. We will even help you explore the possibility of pre trial intervention, which would give you the chance to keep your record clean. If accepted into the program, a term of probation may be warranted with the charges being completely dismissed upon the successful completion of the probationary term. Other times, the transfer of the case to Drug Court may allow alternate resolutions of drug cases.

Please contact the Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. for a case evaluation and to schedule an appointment.

Areas of Practice

The Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. offers clients his wealth of legal experience, advice, and representation in a wide variety of areas, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Criminal Defense

  • Entertainment Law

  • Sports Law


  • Civil Law

  • Family Law

  • Corporate Counsel

  • Immigration Law

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