Important Update: New Jersey’s marijuana laws have recently changed, the information on this page may be outdated. For the most up-to-date information on possession of marijuana laws, charges, and penalties, click here.
Charged With Possessing Less Than 50 Grams of Marijuana?
Although it has been decriminalized in other states, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance in New Jersey. As a result, a person found in possession of any amount of marijuana, unless prescribed for a medical condition by a registered physician, is vulnerable to criminal charges. In fact, possession of marijuana under 50 grams is among the most common drug offenses in the State and is punishable by a 6-month period of driver’s license suspension, significant fines, and even up to 6 months of imprisonment. In addition, if marijuana is discovered in a motor vehicle, a person can also be charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle, which is a separate violation that entails a 2-year mandatory period of driver’s license suspension.
The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices have seen tens of thousands of marijuana cases. They have assisted countless clients in having their marijuana cases dismissed outright, as well as through enrollment in a diversionary program such as conditional discharge. To speak with an attorney at Breslow Law Offices about how he can help you to successfully resolve your marijuana charges and expunge your criminal record to erase any record of your arrest, contact their office anytime.
NJ Possession Of CDs Under 50 Grams in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)
In the New Jersey Criminal Code, Possession of Marijuana Under 50 Grams is outlined under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a), which reads:
It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance. Any person who violates this section of the criminal code with respect to:
Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person.
Notably, an individual can be charged with possession of marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a) if they are found to be in “actual” or “constructive” possession of marijuana. These forms of possession are distinguished as follows:
- Actual Possession: the marijuana is discovered on your person at the time of your arrest (i.e. in your pocket, sock, or shoe)
- Constructive Possession: the marijuana is discovered in a location where you may have been aware of its presence and had the power to exercise control over it (i.e. in your vehicle)
Charges for Possession of Marijuana in NJ?
As mentioned previously, possession of marijuana under 50 grams is classified as a disorderly person’s offense in New Jersey, meaning that a conviction may result in one or more of the following penalties:
- Up to 6 months to be served in the county jail
- A maximum fine of $1,000.00
- A 6-month period of driver’s license suspension
- A charge on your criminal record
The Conditional Discharge Program in New Jersey
Fortunately, first-time drug offenders charged with possession of marijuana may be eligible for enrollment in the conditional discharge program. This diversionary program allows you to achieve the dismissal of the charges if you successfully complete program requirements during a probationary period. Conditional discharge requirements typically involve you avoiding any other arrests or convictions and submitting to mandatory drug testing. Upon completion of conditional discharge, the charges against you are dismissed. You then become eligible for an expungement, which can be used one time to eradicate any record of your arrest, allowing you to answer “No” when asked if you have ever been arrested on an application for employment or educational institution. After an expungement, your criminal background check will also show no record of an arrest.