Although many people consider marijuana to be a harmless drug, New Jersey takes marijuana distribution and intent to distribute marijuana extremely seriously. As an overall policy to come down hard on suspected drug dealers, our state has implemented serious penalties that make marijuana distribution an indictable felony offense. A conviction will ultimately result in a felony record for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and can expose you to probation, drug testing, and even prison incarceration. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can be invaluable by challenging the weaknesses in the state’s case against you to negotiate a downgrade or even secure your admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention. Our criminal attorneys have successfully handled thousands of criminal charges over the years including marijuana distribution and related charges such as drug paraphernalia, cocaine possession and prescription drug crimes. We represent clients arrested for marijuana distribution throughout New Jersey including North Bergen, Newark, West New York, Jersey City, Union City, Hoboken, and Bloomfield. If you would like to learn more information about potential representation, then contact us today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation with an experienced marijuana distribution lawyer or to schedule an appointment at our Jersey City office.
2C:35-5 NJ Marijuana Cultivation & Distribution Statute
Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute is governed by N.J.S. 2C:35-5 which provides in pertinent part:
§ 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.
Grading of New Jersey Marijuana Distribution Crimes
As illustrated in the above statute, the grading of offense degree for distribution of marijuana entirely depends on the quantity of marijuana involved. This is extremely important because it ultimately determines the potential penalties such as the sentence range for prison exposure. Other penalties can include court ordered drug counseling, probation, loss of your license, community service and thousands in fines. These charges can be upgraded if the suspect is charged with Marijuana Distribution in a School Zone or Distribution of Marijuana within 500 ft of a Public Park. We have included a chart below which breakdowns the degree of each marijuana distribution charge based on the amount of marijuana confiscated.
What Are The Penalties for Marijuana Distribution in New Jersey?
|4th Degree||Less than an ounce of marijuana||Up to 18 months in state prison|
|3rd Degree||More than an ounce but less than 5 pounds of marijuana||Between 3 – 5 years in state prison|
|More than 5 lbs but less than 25 lbs of marijuana; 11 – 49 marijuana plants||5 – 10 years state prison with presumption of incarceration|
|1st Degree||25 lbs or more; 50 or more marijuana plants||10 – 20 years state prison with presumption of incarceration|
Intent to Distribute Marijuana Attorney in Bayonne
Marijuana distribution cases are often riddled with complicated suppression issues such as an illegal search and seizure of evidence, inadequate probable cause for a stop or arrest, and reliability of witnesses and informants. Getting an experienced criminal defense lawyer involved in your case early on can greatly increase your chances of a successful outcome. In Hudson County, most indictable drug distribution cases are initially sent to CJP (Central Judicial Processing) in the Hudson County Superior Court in Jersey City. When our criminal attorneys appear with clients in CJP we are normally able to take advantage of this opportunity to speak with the prosecutor to have the charge remanded to municipal court or to allow our clients to apply for Pre-Trial Intervention or Drug Court. Our office represents clients for distribution of marijuana who have been charged in Kearny, Belleville, Weehawken, Bayonne, Nutley, Harrison and Guttenberg. If you would like to discuss the facts of your case in more detail then contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018 to speak with a marijuana distribution attorney absolutely free.
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