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The penalties for hashish crimes in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, hashish is a Schedule I controlled substance. Individuals who are found to be in possession of hashish can be sent to prison for no longer than 18 months, depending on the amount of hashish they were found to be in possession of.

When a person is accused of dispensing, distributing or manufacturing hashish, the potential prison terms can be much longer. Similarly, a drug charge for possession with intent to dispense, distribute or manufacture hashish can lead to a lengthier prison sentence than simple possession of hashish.

Drug crimes that involve the manufacturing, distributing or dispensing of hashish range from fourth to first-degree offenses under New Jersey law. A fourth-degree offense would involve no greater than five grams of hashish and be punishable by a prison sentence of no more than 18 months. When more than five grams of hashish is involved, a person could face a third-degree charge and a minimum three-year prison sentence. A second-degree charge involving more than one pound of hashish is punishable by a minimum of five years in prison. For five pounds or more, a person could face a first-degree charge with a minimum 10-year prison sentence and a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help a person who is facing a drug charge involving the manufacturing, distributing or dispensing of hashish. In an effort to have the charge reduced to simple possession or dropped entirely, a lawyer may file motions to have key pieces of evidence suppressed and challenge all of the areas of weakness in the prosecution's case that remain.

Source: NORML, "New Jersey Laws & Penalties", September 26, 2014

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