Marijuana is the most common and popular drug throughout the United States and New Jersey. A large portion of marijuana cases actually only involve a few grams of weed or less or sometimes just the remains of a smoked blunt or roach. Moreover, more marijuana arrests involve a motor vehicle stop so it is common for marijuana possession crimes to be coupled with other related charges such as Drug Paraphernalia and CDS in a Motor Vehicle. If you are convicted for possession of marijuana, it will result in a permanent criminal record for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and can also expose you to probation and even up to 6 months in county jail. An experienced marijuana defense attorney can often challenge the state’s case and work with the prosecution to secure a downgrade, dismissal, or admittance into the Conditional Discharge program. As founding attorney, Will Proetta, Esq., has handled literally thousands of criminal and municipal court charges including numerous cases involving possession of marijuana. At Proetta & Oliver we defend clients against marijuana charges throughout New Jersey including Hoboken, Union City, Secaucus, Newark, Weehawken, Kearny, and Jersey City. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, then contact us today at (201) 793-8018 to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer or to schedule an appointment at our Jersey City office.
2C:35-10(a)(4) Possession of Marijuana under 50 Grams
Every year there are thousands of marijuana arrests throughout New Jersey and the state legislature has constructed the statute to cast a broad net over all kinds of activity involving the use and possession of marijuana. Typically marijuana is a disorderly persons offense if the amount or total weight is under 50 grams. However, marijuana charges can easily be upgraded to indictable felony offenses if you are charged with intent to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana in a school zone or marijuana distribution within 500 ft of a public park. The New Jersey statute for simple possession of marijuana is provided in pertinent part below for your convenience:
§ 2C:35-10. Possession, use or being under the influence, or failure to make lawful disposition
(4) Possession of fifty (50) grams of less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, is a disorderly persons offense.
As illustrated above, possession of marijuana under 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense, which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine. However, because marijuana possession is a drug related offense you will also face a license suspension of up to two years and thousands of additional mandatory assessments to the state.
Faced with Marijuana Possession Charges in NJ? Understand Criminal Possession of Marijuana from a Legal Perspective
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in New Jersey, it is important to understand the distinct types of criminal possession. Under NJ law, there are two forms of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Either form of possession may be used to prove a marijuana charge beyond a reasonable doubt. In the first situation where actual possession applies, a person must have the marijuana on his or her physical person. In other words, the marijuana must be located in your pocket, jacket, sock, or a similar location where the drug is presumably under your direct physical control.
Cases involving constructive possession of marijuana are more complex, as the State must establish that you knew what the item was, were aware of its presence, and had the ability or intention to exercise control over it. Constructive possession provides prosecutors with the opportunity to prove criminal possession without findings of the drug on your physical person. A common example of constructive marijuana possession occurs when several people in a car are charged with possession of marijuana after police conduct a traffic stop and subsequent search of the vehicle. In these situations, the mere presence of the marijuana in the car gives rise to drug charges for all of the vehicle’s occupants. An experienced criminal defense attorney can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the stop, the search, and the arrest that followed in order to identify potential violations of your constitutional rights. If police erred in some way in the course of their investigation, our lawyers will use this as leverage to argue for suppression of evidence and a dismissal of your marijuana charges.
North Bergen NJ Marijuana Defense Lawyer
Most people find it hard to believe but New Jersey law does not differentiate between marijuana shake from a grinder and an ounce of marijuana – as long as there is enough substance to test, both examples are guilty of simple possession of marijuana under 50 grams. New Jersey marijuana cases can be difficult, involving complicated suppression issues such as probable cause for the motor vehicle stop, an illegal search and seizure of evidence, or Miranda violations for incriminating statements. Our criminal defense lawyers know the court system and know what it takes to properly defend a marijuana case. We represent clients for marijuana offenses throughout New Jersey including North Bergen, Bloomfield, West New York, Harrison, Belleville, Nutley, and Guttenberg. If you would like to speak with an experienced New Jersey marijuana defense attorney, then contact us today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment at our Jersey City office.