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What’s the Difference Between Possession and Distribution of Marijuana?

September 17, 2019

marijuana possession lawyer camden njHave you ever tried to smoke marijuana? The United Nations estimates that over 158.8 million citizens around the world are regular users, and many more have tried the substance or self-report occasionally using.

Despite these statistics, marijuana has remained an illegal substance for decades. It’s illegal to possess any amount of the drug. Getting caught with anything more than a personal-use amount might be considered distribution. Get more details about the differences between these very different criminal charges below.

Marijuana Possession in New Jersey

New Jersey considers anything less than 50 grams of Marijuana a simple possession charge. This crime is a misdemeanor. Despite being a misdemeanor, this crime still carries heavy consequences like:

  • Fines up to $1,000
  • A criminal conviction on your record
  • Jail time up to six months
  • Possible probation period (including drug tests)
  • Suspension of your driver’s license

Other factors may increase these penalties. If you’ve been charged with marijuana-related crimes in the past, then you’ll likely receive a harsher sentence than a first-time offender. Similarly, a possession charge within 1,000 feet of a school zone will result in about 100 hours of court-ordered community service.

Can I Get Charged with Distribution or Trafficking?

If you have more marijuana than 50 grams, then the police will not consider the amount as a personal use stash. Instead, they’re likely to believe you had an intent to sell or distribute the drug to others. Distribution charges are much more serious. The penalties involved hinge on the amount of marijuana you were caught with. Here is a broad overview of the levels of charges:

  • Less than one ounce: 4th-degree crime
  • One ounce to five pounds: 3rd-degree crime
  • Five pounds to 25 pounds: 2nd-degree crime
  • 25 pounds or more: 1st-degree crime

Keep in mind that other factors may also contribute to a trafficking or distribution charge. If your marijuana is in 10 different Ziplock bags, then the police are more likely to charge you with trafficking or distribution. Consider what else you have in your car like large amounts of cash, scales or anything else that could indicate an intent to sell the substance.

Contact an Experienced Moorestown Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Marijuana Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with simple possession of marijuana in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal law attorney as soon as possible about your case. Criminal defense attorney Michele Finizio has successfully represented clients charged with marijuana possession in Camden, Cherry Hill, Washington Township, Monroe, Mount Laurel, Medford, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-888-9059 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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