What Penalties Are Associated with Heroin Possession in New Jersey?
New Jersey is one of many states struggling with an opioid crisis, and heroin is the drug that has been doing the most damage in local communities. The state considers heroin a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance because it has no official medical benefits and a high rate of abuse and addiction. Possession of the drug may be both a state and a federal offense.
The trafficking, sale and possession of heroin is strictly prohibited in New Jersey, as it is everywhere else in the United States. Even having a tiny amount of the substance in your possession could lead to at least a third-degree felony charge, punishable by up to five years in prison if you are convicted.
Penalties for heroin possession in New Jersey
New Jersey follows federal law related to heroin possession. According to federal law, an individual convicted of a first offense must pay at least $1,000 in fines and could face up to a year of jail or prison time. Upon a second conviction, you must pay at least $2,500 in fines and serve between 15 days and two years in jail or prison. For a third offense, you pay at least $5,000 in fines and will be incarcerated for 90 days to three years.
New Jersey state law includes more detailed definitions of these charges and penalty guidelines for those convicted of heroin possession and sales, including:
- Possession: A third-degree felony punishable by $35,000 in fines.
- Sale of .5 oz. or less: A third-degree felony, punishable by $75,000 in fines.
- Sale of .5 oz. to 5 oz.: A second-degree felony.
- Sale of more than 5 oz.: A first-degree felony, punishable by a fixed prison term and up to $300,000 in fines.
- Selling within 1,000 feet of a school: Punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and a fixed prison term.
- Selling to a minor or pregnant female: Doubles the existing penalties faced by the offender.
- Trafficking: Leaders of trafficking networks face life in prison (minimum of 25 years) and/or up to $500,000 in fines.
For further information on the penalties and regulations related to heroin possession and sales in New Jersey, speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey drug crime defense attorney at The Law Office of David Jay Glassman. You can reach us online or at 866-221-1270.