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Possession of Marijuana and Other Drugs

Please note: In the 2020 election, New Jersey residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. The law is still developing, so if you are facing any kind of marijuana charges please call our office at 908-643-6801 or reach out online to discuss how this may affect your case.

Anthony N. Palumbo from the New Jersey Law Firm The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo defends individuals who have been charged with drug possession. He knows N.J. drug violation laws and his knowledge and skills provide an aggressive drug charge defense for his clients. The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo proudly represents individuals accused of drug possession throughout New Jersey including Union County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Linden, Rahway, Clark, Roselle, Roselle Park, Springfield, Kenilworth, and more…

If you have been charged with drug possession, penalties range from small fines and rehabilitation programs to years in prison. You need an experienced attorney who knows the sentencing procedure. I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a Union County Drug Defense Lawyer, and with over 35 years of criminal trial experience, I have obtained thousands of downgraded charges. I will make sure you receive the lightest sentence possible for your case.

Have you been accused of a Drug Offense?

There are 4 magic words you need to know.
“I want a Lawyer.”

No matter what the police tell you, do not speak to them without first saying these magic words. It could mean the difference between dismissed charges and years in prison. Don’t take a chance and end up on the wrong side of the law.

While nothing can replace the valuable role an attorney plays in a drug-related lawsuit, this webpage summarizes the basics on simple drug possession (without intent to sell) by providing a brief overview of the penalties, and available defenses.



Possession of 50 grams or less

  • Disorderly Persons Offense
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 6 months in prison

Marijuana residue, seeds and stems constitute possession of 50 grams or less.

Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia

  • Disorderly Persons Offense
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 6 months in prison

Paraphernalia is anything used to smoke, use, carry, or conceal marijuana including but not limited to bongs, pipes, rolling papers, grinders, marijuana jars and dug-outs.

Possession of more than 50 grams

  • 4th Degree Offense
  • Up to $25,000 in fines
  • Up to 18 months

Possession of Marijuana in a School Zone

  • Enhancement of penalty
  • At least 100 hours of community service

Drugs other than Marijuana

If you are caught with drugs other than marijuana including:

Heroin, LSD, PCP, Cocaine/Crack, Methadone, Methamphetamine, Anabolic steroids, Codiene, Xanax, Valium, dependent on the quantity, you will most likely you will face:

  • Third Degree Offense
  • Up to $15,000 fine
  • Prison for 3-5 years

Subsequent Offense

If you have already been convicted of a marijuana or drug offense and you have now been charged with a subsequent offense, the penalties will be enhanced and you will not be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention.

  • Pretrial intervention (PTI), a program that puts your drug charges on hold for a year, is available for some drug crimes, depending on the amount of drugs involved, any prior convictions you may have and other factors. If you successfully complete the program, the charges are dismissed and your criminal record is cleared.

Common Defenses

Violation of Miranda Rights

The most common defenses for Drug Charges are challenges to the admission of evidence based on the violation of a constitutional right. For example, you have a 5th Amendment right more commonly known as your Miranda rights. This is when the police have to tell you that you can ask for a lawyer, and that you don’t have to talk to them until your lawyer is beside you. They have to tell you this before they interrogate you about the crime you are accused of. If they don’t tell you and then they interrogate you that is a violation of your right. Or if they do tell you, but you ask for a lawyer and they interrogate you before your lawyer arrives that is also a violation of the right.

When your Miranda rights are violated, the statements you make to the police are not allowed in court. This is great, especially since your statements probably make you look guilty. However, there is one time the statements can be let into court even if your Miranda rights have been violated. This is if you insist on taking the stand at trial and while you are up there, you say something that contradicts your prior statements to the police. Then the prosecution can bring your statements into court in order to clear up the contradiction. This is one of the reasons why attorneys don’t put the defendant on the stand. It is better for your case.

Violation of 4th Amendment Rights

Another common defense is asserting a violation of your 4th Amendment right. When the police enter your house to conduct a search of your body, house, or car there are very specific rules they need to follow. If they don’t follow these rules, it is a violation of your 4th Amendment right, and any evidence they find is not allowed in court. For example, imagine you are searched without probable cause and drugs are found in your pocket. Those drugs will not be allowed as evidence because your right was violated.

For a second example, imagine the police search you without probable cause and find drugs in your pocket and a piece of paper with your dealer’s address. They go to your dealer and your dealer tells them that he sold you drugs. Since your 4th Amendment right was violated in order for the police to obtain that information, both the drugs AND your dealer’s statement are not admissible in court.

These are just two small examples of how your 4th Amendment right can be violated. If you have a constitutional violation, your entire charge may be dropped. Anthony N. Palumbo will be able to tell you if your case warrants a constitutional violation.

I also handle:

Drug possession • Possession with intent to sell • Drug distribution • Drug sale • Drug trafficking • Drug manufacturing and cultivation • Possession of drug paraphernalia • Conspiracy to violate drug laws • Driving with drugs in the car • Juvenile drug crimes • Drugs in school zone charges • Unauthorized prescription drugs • Any other drug related offense.

If convicted of possession of drugs, you will face fines and maybe imprisonment. Even worse, you may be forced to notify every employer you have for the rest of your life, and if you ever decide to get an education, schools may not let you in. Don’t let one mistake ruin your entire life.

I know when a sentence can be reduced or dismissed. Call today for a free initial consultation. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you hear.

At The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo we defend clients accused of a crime throughout the state of New Jersey in Monmouth County, Union County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, Ocean County, Essex County, Hudson County and Morris County.