Marijuana Attorneys in Union City, New Jersey
Union City is situated in Hudson County, NJ with a population of over 66,000 people. Per the last round of the census, it was the second-most densely populated city location in all of the U.S. With so many people living in this area, all visitors and residents of Union City, New Jersey should be mindful of the possibility of being charged with a drug offense, particularly drug charges involving marijuana. In fact, marijuana is among the most common reasons for criminal charges against individuals in Union City and Hudson County as a whole.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a marijuana offense in Union City, it is crucial to learn more about the different kinds of marijuana charges and penalties associated with them. Not all marijuana charges are the same, with enhanced consequences for offenses involving larger quantities of weed, intent to distribute or selling this controlled dangerous substance (CDS), multiple charges that may be accompanied by drug paraphernalia violations, driving with marijuana in a vehicle, and the like, as well as marijuana charges that occur within a school zone. To discuss your specific case with a local Union City, NJ marijuana attorney near you, contact the law offices of Proetta & Oliver today. You can get a free legal consultation anytime by contacting us online or calling (201) 793-8018.
Union City NJ Marijuana Possession Charges
Arrested for Less than 50 Grams of Marijuana in Union City
Knowing how marijuana possession charges are assessed is important for the consequences and developing a defense strategy. In this section, you’ll learn more about the specifics of marijuana possession charges for someone accused in Union City or elsewhere in New Jersey. In Union City, NJ, the least serious of marijuana charges falls under the category of disorderly persons offenses. This is similar to what other states would call a misdemeanor. The simple possession of marijuana does carry the possibility of fines, jail, a driver’s license suspension, and a criminal record upon conviction.
The specifics of the penalties depend on the amount of marijuana allegedly under the accused person’s control at the time. For possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana at the time of the arrest, the accused party faces up to $1,000 in fines, a criminal record, random drug testing requirements, up to six months in jail, and between 6 and 24 months of a driver’s license suspension. If you have no prior criminal record and have been charged with marijuana possession, you may be eligible for a conditional discharge in Union City Municipal Court.
A conditional discharge is a form of relief for someone charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana or another disorderly persons drug offense. This diversionary program dismisses the original complaint if the person is able to stay arrest free for a defined period and is only applicable for a person without any previous criminal convictions. Other diversionary programs such as Pre-Trial Intervention are options available to those accused of their first drug charge in Hudson County Superior Court.
Charged in Union City with Possession of Over 50 Grams of Marijuana
For possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana in Union City, NJ, the accused party faces up to $25,000 in fines, a criminal record, as many as 18 months in prison, random drug testing, and between 6 and 24 months of a driver’s license suspension. The possession charge is not the only criminal charge an accused party might face post-arrest. Additional charges for possession in a school zone or possession of drug paraphernalia might apply as well, depending on the case.
Possession of Marijuana in a School Zone in Union City, New Jersey
If the marijuana was possessed within a 1,000 foot radius of a school bus or a school property, an additional penalty of 100 hours of community service can be required for the convicted party. However, if that claim is upgraded to intent to distribute marijuana within a drug free school zone, a third degree offense of distribution on or within 1,000 feet of school property can be charged.
For third degree distribution in a school zone, the prison time period is between three and five years with a fine as high as $150,000 and a mandatory parole ineligibility period or three years or between one-third and one-half the total sentence, whichever of these two is higher. Distribution can also be charged in conjunction with possession of the drug or possession of drug paraphernalia.
Union City NJ Drug Paraphernalia Charges
In addition to the possession charges outlined above, it is not uncommon for an accused party to face secondary charges known as possession of drug paraphernalia. The most common kinds of paraphernalia associated with marijuana possession allegations include pipes, dutch masters, rolling papers, grinders, and vaporizers.
By itself, drug paraphernalia charges in Union City are a disorderly persons offense with up to $1,000 in fines, a two-year driver’s license suspension, and a six-month jail sentence. In most cases, the prosecution of a paraphernalia charge is combined with the other charges to allege that the accused party had the knowledge and intent to ingest the marijuana in their possession.
Marijuana Possession with Intent to Distribute in Union City NJ
Where possession becomes more severe with regard to multiple charges or stricter penalties is when the prosecution alleges that the accused party not just had the marijuana, but intended to distribute or sell it to other parties. Manufacturing or distributing marijuana in Union City NJ is a charge with assigned penalties in connection with the amount of marijuana in question.
For less than one ounce of marijuana, up to 18 months in prison and fines as high as $25,000 can apply to this fourth degree crime. For between one ounce and five pounds of marijuana, up to five years in prison and fines as high as $25,000 can apply to this third degree crime. For between five and 25 pounds of marijuana, up to ten years in prison and fines up to $150,000 can apply to this second degree crime. For more than 25 pounds of marijuana, up to twenty years in prison and fines as high as $300,000 can apply to this first degree crime. These fines and jail time can increase upon subsequent charges for a person who has already been convicted of another marijuana offense.
Finding a Lawyer for Your Union City Marijuana Case
Do you need assistance with a marijuana charge in Union City, NJ? Reach out for legal help as soon as possible from a dedicated Union City NJ marijuana defense attorney. For a free consultation, contact our lawyers at (201) 793-8018. We have the knowledge and experience you need now.