Marijuana Offenses in New Jersey
Parsippany Marijuana Crime Lawyer - Charges Under N.J.S. 2C:35-10
A growing number of states, including New Jersey, have legalized medical
marijuana, making it possible for patients to obtain a doctor's prescription
for the legal use of cannabis in the treatment of certain conditions.
New Jersey has not, however, joined the list of states which have partially
decriminalized marijuana so that simple possession of a small amount would
be an infraction punishable by nothing more than a ticket and a fine.
Instead, state law maintains a tough stance against any use of marijuana
for recreational purposes, and any time you are caught with the drug you
can be arrested and charged with a crime.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana Crimes in New Jersey?
The sentence you could receive if convicted of a crime involving marijuana
depends on factors such as the quantity of cannabis involved in the incident
and the specific nature of the crime of which you are accused. For example,
possession of no more than 50 grams of marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor,
with a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally,
you may be subjected to a driver's license suspension lasting for
as long as 2 years.
In the event that you are found in possession of more than 50 grams, you
can be charged with a felony and punished with up to a year and a half
in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If the arrest took place within
1,000 feet of a school, you may additionally be ordered to perform 100
hours of community service. More serious crimes, such as distribution
or cultivation of marijuana, are charged as felonies. Again, the penalty
depends on the quantity of drugs involved, but they can range as high
as 20 years in prison and $300,000 in fines.
Defending Against Marijuana Charges in Morris County, NJ
There are many proven criminal defense strategies which can be employed
in fighting against charges involving marijuana. One of the first questions
to ask following a marijuana arrest is whether the police may have violated
your constitutional rights. If, for example, you were arrested after a
police officer pulled you over and searched your vehicle, it may be possible
to file a motion to suppress the evidence by demonstrating that the officer
violated your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Legally, a law enforcement officer cannot search your person, your home
or your possessions with a warrant or probable cause to suspect that you
are guilty of a crime.
In many cases, a marijuana arrest is made after a traffic stop in which
the officer did not actually have probable cause to pull the driver over.
The same is true in cases where cannabis is found in pockets or a bag
during a stop and frisk on the street, or when the police have entered
the suspect's home without a warrant. If your rights were violated,
it may be possible to suppress the evidence that you were in possession
of marijuana or were growing plants in your home.
Make the Prosecutor Prove Your Guilt
Another common approach for fighting marijuana charges is to dispute the
fact that you were actually guilty of the crime. For example, your Parsippany
criminal defense lawyer may argue that you were unaware that the marijuana
was in your vehicle or your home and that the drugs belonged to someone
else. The burden of proof in the case is on the prosecutor, since you
cannot be convicted until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
When you meet with The Law Offices of Christopher G. Porreca, P.C. for
your free consultation, I will take the time to discuss the circumstances
of your arrest and to determine what strategy will be most effective in
clearing your name of the charges.
Contact the firm now for a free case evaluation!