End of the Road: Harsh Penalties for Drug Possessors

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While technological advances have made shopping and communicating easier, they have also created black markets on the Internet where illegal drug transactions occur with a mouse click. These online criminal interactions not only create massive headaches for authorities, they also expose millions of users to harsh drug possession or trafficking penalties.

In early October, the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the Silk Road, one of the largest websites allegedly facilitating sales of illegal drugs and other goods. The site had more than 1 million registered users and more than $1.3 billion in transactions during its operating life. The site’s Internet address often changed, making it hard for authorities to track it down. Many of the founders of the Silk Road were arrested, and it’s probably only a matter of time before people who allegedly purchased illegal drugs from the website will be charged.

In New Jersey, drug possession laws are tough and are strictly enforced. Many people believe that they will get off lightly for a first drug possession charge. But that simply is not true in most cases. For example, for a first-time offense of possession of marijuana in New Jersey, you can face:

  • Up to 18 months in prison
  • A fine of $500-$1,500 (depending on the quantity possessed)
  • Loss of your driver license
  • Mandatory entry into a drug rehabilitation program

For possession of cocaine, for example, you are looking at the following penalties for even a first-time offense:

  • Three to five years in prison
  • A fine of $1,000-$25,000 (depending on the quantity you possessed)
  • Loss of your driver license
  • Mandatory drug education and rehabilitation programs

Being charged with drug possession in New Jersey can carry serious penalties for even first-time offenders. These charges can have serious legal consequences and can also make it harder to obtain future employment.