Vaping and electronic cigarettes is a relatively new trend, and using them with a legal substance like nicotine is not illegal in New Jersey. However, many people smoke marijuana with vape pens and E-cigarettes, which may lead to drug charges if police find an electronic cigarette containing weed or another controlled dangerous substance in your car or on your person. New Jersey law does not treat vaping marijuana differently than any other form of marijuana possession. In fact, as trace amounts of marijuana can easily be left in the inside of an e-cigarette, you may technically be in possession of marijuana even if you thought it was all used up.
E-cigarettes operate by using four different parts: a mouth piece, a reservoir, a heating element, and a battery. If a police officer seizes an e-cigarette from you and finds even a small amount of marijuana in the reservoir, you can be charged with a violation of New Jersey’s drug laws.
Charged With Marijuana Possession for an E-cigarette in Hoboken NJ
It is a disorderly persons offense to possess 50 grams or less of marijuana in New Jersey. Although there was recent speculation about whether the state would decriminalize marijuana possession, such a move has yet to come from the New Jersey legislator and the New Jersey Attorney General recently issued guidance leaving municipal marijuana charges largely within the discretion of local prosecutors.
In any town or city in New Jersey, you can be arrested if you are found to be in possession of any amount of marijuana. If you are charged with possession of 50 grams or less, you will likely be released from custody pending trial, absent any other concerns about your risk of failing to appear, your threat to the safety of others, or your risk of obstructing justice. You will be given a hearing date and your case will be heard at the municipal court in the municipality where you were charged. In municipal court, your case will be decided by the municipal court judge.
Police Found Drugs and a Vape Pen in My Car in Jersey City
Sometimes, an officer will see what appears to be marijuana or another drug inside an E-cigarette and this leads to a search of your entire vehicle. When a car search results in police finding more drugs, the situation can quickly get worse. If officers retrieve more than 50 grams of marijuana while confiscating your vape pen, this is an indictable offense.
Facing indictable charges for marijuana means your case will be heard in the superior court in the county where you were arrested. The potential penalties you face increase significantly based on the amount of weed you had at the time. It is a fourth degree offense to possess over 50 grams of marijuana in New Jersey and, if convicted, you will face up to 6 months in prison and be ordered to pay fines of up to $10,000. Yosu may also have your license suspended and be ordered to participate in drug treatment and education. If you are in possession of a large amount of marijuana, you may even be charged with intent to distribute, if prosecutors have probable cause to believe you did not possess the drugs for personal use.
Arrested for Marijuana in a Vaping Cigarette, What Am I Facing?
If convicted of possessing less than 50 grams of weed, you may be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison, ordered to pay fines of up to $1,000, and required to participate in a drug education program. If you are a first time offender, you may be eligible for a diversionary program called Conditional Discharge. This program allows you to avoid jail time and, if you complete all of the terms of your probation, the charges against you will be dismissed. However, if you are arrested while participating in conditional discharge, your case will be reopened and you may be sentenced for the original charges.
Individuals charged with possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana are not eligible for Conditional Discharge, however, if you are a first time offender, you may be eligible to participate in New Jersey’s Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program. Similar to Conditional Discharge, PTI allows first time offenders of indictable drug offenses to avoid jail time by agreeing to follow certain terms and conditions of probation. Typically, these terms will include not being arrested again, not using drugs, participating in a drug treatment program, and submitting to random drug testing.
Need a Lawyer for E-cigarette Drug Charges in NJ
Possessing marijuana or any other type of controlled substance without a prescription is still far from legal in New Jersey. If you have been charged with a drug offense after police found weed in your e-cigarette or anywhere else, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The seasoned criminal attorneys at our firm have handled numerous marijuana cases for clients in Hoboken, Jersey City, Kearny, Union City, Weehawken, and throughout New Jersey. We have extensive experience with how best to resolve drug charges, often getting charges dismissed completely or facilitating admission into a diversionary program like Conditional Discharge or PTI. Call us today at (201) 793-8018 to speak with an attorney or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
Learn more about Electronic Cigarettes by accessing this resource.