A criminal charge for possession of synthetic marijuana with intent to distribute is governed by N.J.S. 2C:35-5.3a which was passed in August 2011 and provides in pertinent part:
2. a. It is a crime for any person knowingly or purposely to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense substances containing: 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone, 4-MMC); 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV); 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone, MDMC), 4-methoxymethcathinone (methedrone, bk-PMMA, PMMC); 3-fluoromethcathinone (3-FMC); or 4-fluoromethcathinone (flephedrone, 4-FMC).
b. A person who violates subsection a. of this section where the quantity involved is one ounce or more is guilty of a crime of the second degree.
c. A person who violates subsection a. of this section where the quantity involved is less than one ounce is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
As the above statute details, a criminal charge for possession of synthetic marijuana with intent to distribute is an indictable criminal offense in New Jersey. The grading of the indictable offenses depends on the amount of synthetic marijuana involved. If the amount involved is one ounce or more, this is a second degree offense in New Jersey which includes between five (5) and ten (10) years in New Jersey State prison if convicted. Moreover, a second degree offense in New Jersey has a presumption of incarceration which means that, if convicted, even if you have no prior criminal record you are looking at a state prison sentence of a minimum of five (5) years.
If the amount involved is less than one ounce this is a third degree indictable offense in New Jersey. A third degree offense includes between three (3) and five (5) years in New Jersey state prison and does not contain a presumption of incarceration. As a result, if you have no prior criminal record, you may receive a probationary sentence as opposed to a state prison sentence.
Indictable criminal offenses must be handled at the Superior Court in the county in which you were charged.