New Brunswick Marijuana Attorney
Marijuana Possession Attorneys in New Brunswick NJ
A charge for possession of marijuana in New Brunswick is no laughing matter. If found guilty of possessing even a small joint or minimal amount of weed, you face placing the 6 months of your life on hold, as you can be sent to jail for this amount of time. New Jersey overall, and specifically New Brunswick, takes marijuana possession seriously. In fact, in 2017, there were nearly 35,000 arrests for possession of marijuana in this state. In New Brunswick alone in 2016, there were roughly 3,400 arrests for marijuana. Achieving such a high number of arrests is attributable to vigorous efforts by police to arrest violators. So, it makes no difference in New Brunswick whether you are a Rutgers student, a professor, a public employee, a resident, or someone employed at a local business here, you will be prosecuted for marijuana if it is found in your possession unlawfully. Here, we focus on possession of marijuana in New Brunswick and the corresponding degrees of crimes and penalties. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, seek counsel from an experienced New Brunswick marijuana lawyer at our firm to plan your top defense strategy. We are here to answer your questions in a free consultation, so call (732) 659-9600 today.
Possession of Marijuana in New Brunswick, New Jersey
Despite the popularity of the drug, unless you have a prescription for marijuana, it is illegal to possess it in any form and any amount in this state. Because it is illegal, the police are authorized to conduct a search of your car and its contents simply by saying they smell marijuana. Once inside your car or upon patting you down, if they find any item suspected to be marijuana, you will be charged based on the amount found. In most cases, those charged with marijuana are accused of disorderly persons offenses or fourth degree indictable crimes.
Marijuana Possession Disorderly Persons Offense in New Brunswick
Many of the thousands of marijuana arrests within New Brunswick and New Jersey are related to possessing less than 50 grams, which is addressed in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 (a)(4). This is seemingly due to the fact that many people who use marijuana possess just enough for their own use. Smoking a joint or packing your bowl on a regular basis does not require an amount larger than 50 grams in the majority of cases. A disorderly persons offense is not an indictable crime and is thus heard in New Brunswick Municipal Court, located at 25 Kirkpatrick Street. For this reason, the punishment for this offense is much less than that of an indictable crime. Specifically, if convicted of possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, you can be sentenced to 180 days in the county jail, $1,000 in fines, a $500 mandatory drug penalty, license suspension of up to 2 years, and a possible term of probation.
Fourth Degree Crimes for Marijuana Possession in New Brunswick
Possession of greater than 50 grams of marijuana is a fourth degree criminal offense in New Jersey, specifically addressed in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10 (a)(3). Upon arrest, the officer will take the marijuana and, if the amount appears to be in excess of 50 grams, you may face fourth degree charges, after which the marijuana will be sent to a state laboratory for confirmation. The lab will in turn test the substance, weigh it, and send the results back to the police, prosecutor and, eventually, your attorney. The weight includes any fillers or adulterants which may add to the overall amount of the substance. It is not a defense that you thought that most of the suspected marijuana was not, in fact, marijuana but instead, consisted of junk or fillers. If you have greater than 50 grams, your case will be heard in Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick, unless downgraded and remanded to the New Brunswick Municipal Court.
Once at the Middlesex County Superior Court, your attorney will receive discovery and go over the facts of the case with you. Sometime thereafter, you will make an educated decision about pleading under the terms of an agreement, applying for a program like Pre-Trial Intervention, seeking to have the case dismissed through motions devised and effectuated by your attorney, or going to trial. Ultimately, if you are found guilty, the court has the authority to send you to jail for up to 18 months, order you to pay $25,000 in fines, suspend your license for two years, and require that you pay a $750 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty. While the Judge can send you to prison, they also have the option to sentence you up to 364 days in the county jail or a term of probation.
Companion Charges for Marijuana in New Brunswick
Generally, people who simply possess marijuana are either charged with the fourth degree crimes of disorderly persons offenses. Of course, if you possess larger amounts of marijuana or have items present consistent with distribution, you may charged with more serious offenses, such as marijuana possession with intent to distribute or drug distribution in a school zone.
Aside from marijuana possession, there are companion disorderly persons offenses that are often filed together with marijuana charges. For example, the police may charge you with being under the influence of drugs pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10b, failure to turn over drugs to the police pursuant to N.J.S.A 2C: 35-10c, or possession of drug paraphernalia pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2c:36-2.
New Brunswick NJ Marijuana Defense Lawyer Free Consultation
If you have been arrested in New Brunswick for marijuana possession, you should review your case and your options with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience defending clients in Middlesex County. Our highly skilled lawyers have defended countless clients with marijuana cases in New Brunswick Municipal Court and Middlesex County Superior Court, and we have the necessary skills to navigate the courts for the best possible result. Whether you are a first-time offender entitled to PTI or a conditional discharge, you have grounds for a dismissal, or you’re someone more savvy to the way the system works and looking for the best counsel you can find, we can help. Contact us at (732) 659-9600 today for a free consultation.