South Brunswick Marijuana Offenses
South Brunswick Marijuana Defense Attorney
South Brunswick was recently ranked as the tenth-safest city in the United States to raise a child. New Jersey ranked the town even higher within the state, placing it at number three. However, while the town is perceived to be safe, it is not without crime. In fact, offenses such as possession of marijuana and intent to distribute marijuana are frequently committed and charged in South Brunswick, leading to serious penalties for those convicted. The offense of possessing marijuana without a prescription can be charged as a disorderly persons offense or an indictable crime, depending on the measured weight or amount of the substance. Similarly, possessing with the intent to distribute or distribution itself will be charged as an indictable crime (felony), the degree of which is determined by the amount of marijuana or number of marijuana plants involved in a given case. When it comes to charges for marijuana in South Brunswick and elsewhere in Middlesex County, New Jersey, all of these offenses are punishable by jail time, a conviction on your criminal record, and imposition of both mandatory and discretionary fines. You may also lose your driving privileges for 6 months to 2 years, which can present a significant problem for your ability to conduct activities of daily life.
When South Brunswick marijuana possession or distribution charges jeopardize your freedom and your future, you can rely on the highly talented team of attorneys at Proetta & Oliver to defend you in court and represent your best interests. Contact our local office at (732) 659-9600 if you would like to speak with a Marijuana Defense Lawyer in South Brunswick NJ free of charge. We are available immediately to provide you with a free consultation.
Charged with Marijuana in South Brunswick, New Jersey
Life is hectic and the added stressors of school, work, parental or spousal issues can make a person feel overwhelmed, worried, or anxious. Thus, you may decide to take a ride to Pigeon Swamp State Park, chill out, and smoke a bowl in your car while enjoying the scenery. Unfortunately, if you do not have a prescription and an officer approaches because he smells marijuana, you may be arrested and charged with a marijuana offense. Depending on the amount of marijuana possessed and/or other items present during the search, you can be charged with an indictable crime or disorderly persons offense. Indictable marijuana charges are subject to harsher punishments, as they are equivalent to felonies in other states. A disorderly persons offense for marijuana is New Jersey’s version of a criminal misdemeanor.
Possession of Marijuana in South Brunswick Municipal Court
When it comes to marijuana charges, if the police catch you with a small amount contained in a bowl, pipe, or baggie, it is likely less than 50 grams and will be charged accordingly. Any amount of natural marijuana less than 50 grams will be charged as a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4). These offenses are considered “misdemeanors,” not “felonies,” and will require your appearance in South Brunswick Municipal Court located at 540 Ridge Raod in Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852.
In South Brunswick Municipal Court, you will have the right to a trial in front of the judge. At trial, the prosecutor must prove that you possessed marijuana, that you knew it was marijuana, and that you did not have a prescription for medical marijuana in New Jersey. If convicted, the judge has the authority to impose a jail sentence of up to 6 months. Additionally, you will be forced to pay a $500 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty, a$50 lab fee, a $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $50 Victims of Crime Agency fee and up to $1,000 in additional fines. Unfortunately, in addition to the above, the court may suspend your license for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, unless you can demonstrate that doing so would be a hardship.
If you had more than 50 grams of marijuana in your possession, you will be charged with an indictable crime. These cases are transferred to the Middlesex County Superior Court and handled by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
South Brunswick Marijuana Charges for a Synthetic Drug or THC
In a marijuana case, you can be charged with an indictable crime and be forced to attend Middlesex County Superior Court if a few facts are present. For instance, if you possessed marijuana oil in a vape pen (THC in an electronic cigarette), you may be charged with a fourth degree crime. This is becoming a more common charge as the popularity of vaping increases. Many police officers are unaware of the degree of crime that possessing the THC oil will permit and erroneously charge the possession of same as a disorderly persons offense. However, the officers are perfectly within the confines of the law to charge you with the felony crime.
Additionally, possession of synthetic marijuana in any amount will result in a criminal charge. Many people have easy access to synthetic marijuana by either ordering it online or purchasing it in a bodega or store, and are therefore lulled into the false sense that the substance must be legal. No matter how easy it is to obtain the substance, it is never legal to possess synthetic marijuana in New Jersey. As such, any amount will allow for the lodging of a fourth degree complaint against you.
Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Distribution in South Brunswick
If you possess an amount of marijuana greater than 50 grams, a scale, and/or baggies containing similar amounts of marijuana that has been divided, you can be charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. By way of example, if police believe that you distributed any amount of marijuana up to one ounce, you will be charged with a fourth degree crime. A complaint of this sort often results after an officer has conducted a search of your home, your car, or police searched your dorm room. For instance, if you were in the park as noted above, and the officer approaches your car because he smells the marijuana, he will have you exit the car so that he can search you and then the car. If the car reveals the items above that are not consistent with personal use, you will likely be charged with a distribution of marijuana offense. You may also be charged with higher degree crimes and face corresponding penalties as follows:
- First Degree Intent to Distribute Marijuana: weight of 25 pounds or more, $300,000 in fines, Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty of $3000, $50 lab fee, $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $50 Victims of Crime Agency fee, 10-20 years in state prison;
- Second Degree Intent to Distribute Marijuana: weight of more than 5 pounds but less than 25 pounds, $150,000 in fines, $50 lab fee, $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $50 Victims of Crime Agency fee, $2000 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty, 5-10 years in State Prison;
- Third Degree Intent to Distribute Marijuana: weight of 1 ounce to 5 pounds, $1000 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty, $50 lab fee, $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $50 Victims of Crime Agency fee, 3-5 years in state prison;
- Fourth Degree Intent to Distribute Marijuana: weight of 50 grams to one ounce, $750 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction Penalty, $50 lab fee, $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $50 Victims of Crime Agency fee, up to 18 months in state prison.
In addition to the above, the law requires that your license be suspended for 6 to 24 months. Also, you will have a criminal background and a felony offense will show up on a background check. This is because New Jersey law directs the courts to collect your DNA and keep it on file to identify you in any future criminal investigations, but also to reflect a record of your convictions.
Consult a South Brunswick NJ Marijuana Lawyer Free
There are countless ways that our attorneys can help if you have been charged with a marijuana offense in South Brunswick, New Jersey. Whether you are desirous of getting a conditional discharge, downgrade, or simply no jail time, we can help. We will work toward achieving the goals that are in keeping with your overall lifestyle and concerns, and use all of our knowledge to achieve a dismissal if possible. Experienced South Brunswick marijuana attorneys such as ours at Proetta & Oliver, know how to help you get the best results. Contact our office today at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.