Is a 3rd degree offense of possession of a CDS a felony?
New Jersey does not classify offenses as felonies and misdemeanors, instead we use the terms “crimes” and “disorderly persons offenses.” However, a “crime” is what you would normally think of as a “felony.” The a violation of the statute you set forth in a crime of the third degree, with a theoretical punishment of between three (3) and five (5) years in state prison. However, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, punishment could range from a diversionary program (for someone with no previous record) to ten (10) years in prison (for someone with a very bad criminal record). A conviction for possession of a controlled dangerous substance can also carry collateral consequences, such as a loss of driver’s license and substantial fines and assessments.
The best thing you can do if immediately consult with an experienced criminal lawyer. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact my office at 609-344-5161.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Everything Colin has posted is correct. Generally if you "translate" a the "felony/misdemeanor" distinction to NJ offenses, you look to whether the offense is punishable by a year or more in jail. As all crimes (4th degree being the lowest) have a potential for at least 18 months in jail, they translate to felonies", and all disorderly persons and petty disorderly offenses carry a maximum jail sentence of 6 months, so they translate to misdemeanors. There are exceptions so see an attorney to discuss your issue.
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