Marijuana Possession Defense | Toms River, NJ

Marijuana possession laws in New Jersey vary considerably depending on the nature of the possession. The difference between a simple marijuana possession and possession with intent to distribute is the quantity of marijuana involved. Prosecutors also consider whether it is the accused's first, second, or third offense. The information below applies only to simple possession of marijuana.

Simple Possession in NJ

NJ laws in respect to simple possession of marijuana are outlined in NJSA 2C:35-10(3), Under this law, it is illegal for any person to purposely or knowingly obtain, possess marijuana. Anyone who violates this law is subject to penalties under the law.

Penalty for Simple Possession

Penalties for simple marijuana possession depend greatly on how much marijuana is found on a person.

More than 50 grams of marijuana in a person's possession is a crime of the 4th degree. This applies to any adulterants or dilutants as well. Furthermore, hashish (more than 5 grams) also falls under this law. A fine of $25,000 can be imposed.

The possession of 50 grams of marijuana or less is considered a disorderly persons offense. This law includes adulterants, dilutants, and less than 5 grams of hash. It also includes a fine of $500.

A judge may also order you to drug diversionary program for a simple possession charge. If you are convicted of simple marijuana possession and are ordered to a drug diversionary program, you will be required to pay a penalty of $500 to $3,000 and a $50 laboratory charge, which is mandatory as well.

In New Jersey, anyone found guilty of a drug offense can lose their driving privileges for up to 6 months. If a person's driver license is already suspended, the new suspension can extend the original.

Marijuana in a School Zone

A simple possession charge can become a very serious crime if you are found to have marijuana in a school zone. In January 2010, New Jersey adopted harsher penalties for individuals accused of having drugs in a school zone. With the adoption of these new laws, the possession of drugs in a school zone now comes with sentencing options.

Charged with Simple Possession

If you are charged with simple possession of marijuana, you should contact a New Jersey defense attorney right away. A marijuana possession lawyer will explore all defenses including whether the search and seizure of the marijuana were legal. A defense attorney possesses the skills to analyze the police investigation to see if it was conducted properly or leaves any room for defense against the charges. If there is no defense for the charge, a lawyer can explore programs that could help you avoid a conviction. For instance, a 4th-degree offense, an indictable crime, could be handled at the County level, but may be eligible for indictment diversion or Drug Court. The lesser possession of marijuana charge goes through municipal court and could be eligible for conditional discharge.

Daniel Berger, Esq., is available for a free consultation and immediate assistance. Contact him today for advice on how to handle your possession charges.