New Brunswick NJ Marijuana Lawyer
Drug Charges Defense Attorneys in Middlesex County, New Jersey
The vast majority of New Jersey marijuana crimes involve a small amount the narcotic, usually 3 grams or less. Our attorneys handle a large number of cases that involve motor vehicle stops during which marijuana is found stashed in the car. These cases are often accompanied by “companion” charges such as Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle and Drug Paraphernalia. A conviction for the possession of marijuana without a companion charge will result in a permanent criminal record, potential probation, and up to 6 months in county jail. At The Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver our attorneys defend clients against marijuana charges throughout Middlesex County, including New Brunswick, Piscataway, Rutgers University, Dunellen, Middlesex Borough, Spotswood, and Monroe. As founding attorney, Will Proetta, Esq., has handled a wide array of criminal and municipal charges, many of which involve possession of marijuana. To build a case strategy customized to meet your needs or simply speak with an experienced Middlesex County marijuana defense lawyer, contact our Edison Office at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4) Possession Under 50 Grams of Marijuana
Marijuana is by far the most common drug in New Jersey. Therefore the scope of law that it is governed by is very broad. Marijuana charges can vary in severity depending upon the amount in possession, your intent to distribute, and whether not the possession or distribution occurs in a school zone or public park. The relevant part of the New Jersey statute for simple possession of marijuana is provided below for your convenience:
§ 2C:35-10. Possession, use or being under the influence, or failure to make lawful disposition
(4) Possession of fifty (50) grams of less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, is a disorderly persons offense.
Simply put, a marijuana charge of less than 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense – which is equivalent to a misdemeanor. As mentioned above disorderly persons offenses carry up to 6 months in jail but additional penalties apply because it is a drug related offense. For example, if convicted, you would face a two year of loss of driver’s license and thousands in fines and mandatory assessments to the state.
Understanding New Jersey Laws on Marijuana
Although the use and possession of marijuana is permissible for medical use with a valid prescription in New Jersey and many other states, the Drug Enforcement Agency still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled dangerous substance (CDS). A Schedule 1 CDS is characterized as having a high potential for abuse, not being accepted for use in medical treatment, and lacking acceptable standards of safety for medical use, even when under medical supervision.
Nevertheless, under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA), if your doctor certifies that you have one of 18 debilitating conditions listed in the Act, your name may be added to the New Jersey Department of Health Registry, so that you may obtain medical marijuana at one of New Jersey’s 6 alternative treatment centers, one of which is located in Woodbridge.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about legalizing the recreational use, growth, and sale of marijuana in what would be a very highly regulated industry. However, no such law has been passed yet and possession of any amount of marijuana without a valid prescription for its medicinal use remains illegal.
Currently, under New Jersey law, if you are caught in possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, you can be charged with a disorderly persons offense, facing up to 6 months in jail. If you are in possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, you may be charged with an indictable offense and the police might charge you with intent to distribute, if they have probable cause to believe you did not possess the marijuana for personal use only.
Police Found Marijuana in my Car, Can they Search my Vehicle?
In the context of a motor vehicle, the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure applies, but a few exceptions may be relevant. First, in order to pull you over, the police must have reasonable suspicion that a law, including a traffic law, has been violated. Once they pull you over, if they see evidence of contraband, like marijuana, in plain view from where they are standing, they may seize it.
Due to the highly movable nature of an automobile, there is also a special “automobile exception” to the warrant requirement for conducting a search and seizure. Under this exception, the police may search your vehicle for marijuana without a warrant, if they have probable cause to believe you have contraband in the car. Often, officers use the smell of marijuana as justification to search your vehicle. This is generally accepted by New Jersey courts as probable cause for a search.
Contact Piscataway NJ Marijuana Attorney for a Free Consultation
When it comes to the amount of marijuana in regard to simple possession, NJ law does not differentiate the difference between a roach and an ounce. New Jersey courts will judge each instance in the same way under NJ possession of marijuana laws. Similar to all drug charges, marijuana charges are very complicated. Suppression issues can arise in your favor that will challenge the probable cause of the traffic stop, search and seizure violations, incriminating statements, and scientific testing of any substance confiscated. Our attorneys have wide experience in addressing these very issues and successfully arguing and suppressing illegally obtained evidence. We represent clients for possession of marijuana throughout Middlesex County and New Jersey including South Brunswick, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Old Bridge, and Sayreville. If you would like to speak with an experienced marijuana defense attorney, contact our office today at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.