1. Can I lose my driver’s license if I am convicted of a drug offense?

The court can take away your license between 6 months and 2 years, unless there are outstanding circumstances that justify a waiver of the suspension. For example, extreme hardship could justify a suspension waiver.

  1. What other restraints can the court enable prior to conviction for a drug offense?

The court is capable of issuing a restraining order against you when you are charged with a criminal defense. This restraining order will prohibit you from accessing the place where the crime occurred. For example, if you are being charged with drug distribution and you were found doing so out of your car, then your car is no longer available to you until the case is over.

  1. Will my landlord be notified of my drug conviction?

Yes.  Your landlord will be notified if you conviction involves any of the following on leased residential property in which you were a resident:  possession, manufacture, dispensing or distribution of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.

  1. Is possession of marijuana a felony offense?

In New Jersey, criminal offenses are known as one of the following: indictable crimes or disorderly persons offenses. Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $25,000.  Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense.  If you are charged with possession of marijuana in a school zone, public housing project or public park, there are more severe penalties.

  1. Is possession of cocaine a felony offense?

Penalties for possession of cocaine are decided based on the weight, the location and whether or not the possession was with the intent to distribute. If you are charged with possession of cocaine in a school zone, public housing project or public park, there are additional penalties.

  1. Is possession of heroin a felony offense?

As with cocaine possession, penalties for heroin possession vary based on weight, location and whether or not there is intent to distribute. Additional penalties are instated if you are charged with possession of heroin in a school zone, public housing project or public park.

  1. Is possession of prescription drugs a felony offense?

If you have or receive prescription drugs from someone other than your doctor, this is considered unlawful possession or distribution. The unlawful possession, distribution, or attempted distribution of a prescription drug is a crime.  A conviction for this crime may result in a fine of up to $300,000.

  1. How can I legally carry my prescription drugs?

If you have prescription drugs that are prescribed to you, you can carry the medication as long as it is in the original container in which it was dispensed.  However, you may carry up to a 10-day supply in something other than the original container if, when requested by law enforcement, you give the name and address of who prescribed the medication or the pharmacy where you received the medication. If you refuse or cannot provide this information upon request to law enforcement, you will be charged with a disorderly persons offense.

  1. Is it possible to get my drug possession conviction expunged from my record?

It is possible to get a drug possession or drug use conviction expunged from your record if you were 21 years of age or younger at the time of the offense. However, you must wait at least one year after conviction, termination of probation or parole or discharge from custody to apply for an application for expungement.

  1. Will I be charged with drug possession if I am a passenger in a car containing drugs I don’t own?

Yes. If you know there are illegal drugs present in the car then legally you are seen to be able to exercise control over the drugs which makes you guilty of drug possession.