Jersey City Synthetic Marijuana Lawyer for Clients Charged with Possession and Distribution
Have you been arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana and wondering why you are being charged with a felony (indictable) crime? This drug, also known as K-2 or Spice, has been legally banned in the State of New Jersey since 2011. Following the Federal ban, this state makes it a crime to possess even a small amount of the substance. The laws on synthetic marijuana in New Jersey are, in fact, more stringent with regard to the manufactured version of weed when compared with the drug in its herbal form. If you are someone you love has been charged with possession, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana, there are things you should know before going to court, and we strongly urge you to seek knowledgeable legal counsel. The skilled Hudson County criminal defense lawyers at Proetta & Oliver regularly defend clients charged with violations of New Jersey laws on synthetic marijuana in Kearny, Hoboken, Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Weehawken, Secaucus, and surrounding communities.. If you are facing drug charges for synthetic marijuana in Hudson County or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact our local Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation with an attorney who will listen to the circumstances of your unique case and provide personalized guidance and assistance.
What is Synthetic Marijuana, K2, Spice?
Synthetic marijuana is a psychoactive drug that is man-made with chemicals. A psychoactive drug is one that changes the way the brain works and alters a person’s mood. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. When marijuana is ingested, it enters the bloodstream and quickly enters the brain. THC interferes with the normal way in which neurons communicate, thereby causing a feeling of relaxation or eventually, paranoia. In the case of synthetic marijuana, the THC is not a naturally-occurring ingredient, but is instead a mixture of ingredients doused with chemicals that produce a THC-related high. Synthetic THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain in both an unnatural and unhealthy manner. The result is often disastrous in that long term, people can suffer from memory loss, lack of muscle coordination, anxiety, inability to learn properly, and an increase in heart rate. Often, the initial feeling of being high is temporary but the substance can stay in your system and impact the way your body functions for up to 20 days.
K2/Spice often looks like an herb or potpourri. It is packaged in a way that is meant to look like a legal product, seemingly undetectable to police. However, due to the fact that there were so many adverse reactions to the drug, police have been trained to spot synthetic marijuana and will arrest anyone who is in possession of the drug in New Jersey.
Possession of Synthetic Marijuana under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.3a
Possessing synthetic marijuana in any amount, however small, is at least a fourth degree indictable (felony) crime in New Jersey. Unlike organic marijuana, there is no lesser offense such as a misdemeanor/disorderly persons offense version of synthetic marijuana charges. State prison is the permissible backdrop of all indictable offenses, including possession of K2. For a fourth degree crime, the judge is well within the confines of the law to sentence you to state prison for up to 18 months. You may also be subject to a fine amounting to $10,000. In lieu of jail, you may also be sentenced to probation for as much as 5 years or forced to serve time in the county jail for up to 364 days.
If you possess greater than one ounce of synthetic marijuana, you will be charged with a third degree crime. All third degree crimes in New Jersey carry a potential sentence of three to five years in state prison. In addition, you may be subject to a financial penalty for as much as $15,000. Beyond typical charges for possessing synthetic marijuana, your situation can become progressively worse if you are charged with distribution or intent to distribute.
Synthetic Marijuana Distribution & Possession with Intent to Distribute under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.3a
Any person proven to have possessed synthetic marijuana in an amount up to one ounce will be convicted of third degree crime. The potential charges and penalties are even more severe should you be found guilty of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute or dispense more than one ounce of fake weed. Distributing one ounce or more of synthetic marijuana increases the severity of the crime to a second degree felony. Unlike third degree crimes, a second degree distribution crime carries a presumption of incarceration, regardless of the defendant’s prior history. The potential term of incarceration ranges from 5 to 10 years.
Hoboken NJ Synthetic Marijuana Defense Attorney can Help
By now you understand that simple possession of synthetic marijuana or allegations of intent to distribute are no laughing matter and must be taken seriously. What may have started out as an attempt to chill out, can actually end with you spending time behind bars. However, there are ways that your case can be resolved without prison or even a criminal conviction on your record. Fortunately, in many cases, there are positive outcomes or resolutions that can be achieved. Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) often represents one way that a case can be dismissed if all conditions are met. In other cases, there may be legal proof issues that are uncovered as the case progresses. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will know best how to spot these issues and use them to your advantage. At Proetta & Oliver, our dedicated criminal defense lawyers have intimate knowledge of, and experience with, what happens in cases involving synthetic marijuana and how these cases can be resolved in the best interests of our clients. For a free consultation with an attorney who will dedicate their time and efforts to your case, contact us at (201) 793-8018 today.