New Jersey

New Jersey had more than 40,000 drug arrests for the use and possession of drugs and 12,579 for its sale/manufacture in 2008, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy report. Cocaine and heroin are the most prevalent in this state.

New Jersey Mandatory Minimum Drug Penalties

New Jersey strictly enforces mandatory minimum penalties in it’s drug laws. A law enacted by the 1986 Congress to specific crimes in which the judge is forced to deliver fixed sentences regardless of mitigating factors. The judge shall not sentence an individual to less time than the minimum. Those who are serving mandatory minimum sentences are also ineligible to parole. Mandatory minimum is determined by the type of drug, weight of the mixture, and prior convictions.

Drug Possession

Possession of an illegal drug weighing 50 g or less will have an incarceration of 6 months and a fine of $1000, more than will be 18 months and $25,000. If within 1,000 feet from a school, possession of an illegal drug, depending on the amount, has a penalty of an additional minimum 100 hours of community service and a fine depending on the quantity.

Drug Cultivation

Cultivation of a drug such as marijuana with less than 10 plants will incarcerate you of 3 to 5 years and impose a fee of $25,000. Cultivating 10 to 49 plants may sentence you of a 5- to 10-year imprisonment with a fine of 150,000. More than that will be an incarceration of 10 to 20 years, applying mandatory minimum, and a fine of $300,000.

NJ Drug Distribution and possession with Intent to Distribute

If the prohibited drugs weigh less than 1 oz, you may be put in prison for 18 months and pay a fine of $25,000. If it is 1 oz or more, but less than 5 pounds, the penalty would be 3 to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000. If it is more than 5 pounds, but less than 25 pounds, the penalty is 5 to 10 years imprisonment with $150,000 fine. If it is 25 pounds or more, you may be imprisoned with a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 20 years with a fine of $300,000.

Carrying a drug within 1000 feet of school property or school bus will make the convicted ineligible for parole of 1/3 to 1/2 of total sentence and to pay $150,000. Within 500 feet of certain public property involving less than 1 oz of illegal drug would be a penalty of 3 to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000; more than that would be 5 to 10 years imprisonment and $150,000.

If you will distribute it to a minor or a pregnant woman, the penalty shall be doubled.

Paraphernalia possession would cause you 6 months in prison and $1000; paraphernalia sale is 18 months with a fine of $10,000; and paraphernalia sale to a minor is 3 to 5 years with $15,000 as a fine.