Middlesex County Synthetic Marijuana Lawyers
Edison NJ Defense Attorneys for Synthetic Marijuana Possession and Distribution
You may not be aware of this, but possessing even a small amount of synthetic marijuana in New Jersey is a fourth degree indictable crime. Additionally, if you possess larger amounts, you face a third degree crime or more serious drug charges for possession with intent to distribute or distribution. These indictable crimes (felonies) range from first through fourth degree and they permit the court to impose state prison sentences extending for years to come. Missing out on your life or the lives of your loved ones is a possibility if convicted of a synthetic marijuana offense. Despite this unfortunate reality, you are entitled to a strong defense. You may have several options for getting the charges dismissed and circumventing the potential repercussions. Before you or anyone you know determines your next steps to best handle charges for synthetic marijuana or another drug crime in Middlesex County, New Jersey, contact our office.
William A. Proetta and our team of seasoned criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended these cases at trial, negotiated favorable plea agreements on behalf of our clients, assisted with admissions into court diversion programs like PTI, and in many cases aided those we represent in avoiding jail or convictions, which pose future burdens on their criminal histories. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a synthetic marijuana crime in Middlesex County, please contact our local office in Edison at (732) 659-9600 to make sure that your case receives the time, energy, and commitment that it deserves. We frequently defend clients facing drug possession and distribution charges in New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, East Brunswick, and across the state. For each and every client, our firm is committed to delivering exceptional results. You can get answers to your specific questions and talk through your options by contacting us 24/7. Consultations are provided free of charge.
New Jersey Synthetic Marijuana Crimes per N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.3a
The word synthetic refers to artificial substances, as opposed to natural products. The same theory applies to drugs such as synthetic marijuana. For synthetic marijuana, the material used is not, in fact, organic or even marijuana. The falsity is in the marketing, in that the word “marijuana” is used. The truth is that synthetic marijuana is not truly marijuana at all. It is instead a mixture of various substances (chemicals) generally known as cannabinoids, which are used to produce a high rivaling traditional marijuana. While it may have some chemical properties that mimic THC, marijuana’s psychoactive component, synthetic weed can lead to many unforeseeable interactions in the brain, some of which may result in dangerous or even violent conduct by the user. Nonetheless, its chemical properties can be identified by laboratory scientists in the State of New Jersey. Once this controlled dangerous substance has been identified, the state can pursue criminal charges for possessing, selling, or intending to market synthetic marijuana. The degree of the charge is largely determined by the amount of the drug in the particular case.
Per the governing statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.3a, possessing any amount of synthetic marijuana is a fourth of a crime, even the slightest bit of the substance. When it comes to a fourth degree felony charge such as this, the sentence can include prison for up to 18 months. Additionally, if appropriate, the judge may order a combination of county jail and probation, fine you up to $10,000, and force you to forfeit your license for up to 2 years. If placed on probation, you will be tasked with meeting certain conditions and if you fail to meet those conditions, the court is authorized to send you to state prison. The permissible prison term will be more if you are charged with a higher level third degree crime for fake weed.
Particularly, possessing over one ounce of synthetic marijuana is a third degree crime, for which your exposure includes 3 to 5 years in state prison. The judge may suspend your license as well and force you to pay fines amounting to $15,000. Even worse, if you possess a more significant amount or the facts permit, you may be charged with possession with intent to distribute, possibly subjecting yourself to 5 to 10 years in NJ state prison.
Charged with Possessing Synthetic Marijuana in NJ, What can I do?
Before your case results in an indictment, a trial, or a conviction, you will have the opportunity to resolve the charges with the state. The New Jersey Attorney General has directed prosecutors to attempt to resolve cases at pre-indictment conferences or related pre-trial proceedings. These are opportunities for your lawyer to achieve an amicable agreement, downgrading of the charges, or dismissal in the early stages of the case. During your pre-indictment conference, the prosecutor will provide discovery and a plea offer to your attorney, who then discusses it with you. At this early stage, it is in your best interest to take the matter seriously and to see if there are ways to obtain more beneficial results at the beginning of the case. Conversely, there are some cases in which the best result only comes after filing motions and presenting compelling information to the prosecutor.
For example, it is possible for you to have your case downgraded to Municipal Court or to a charge that is not a felony. Also, the state may not want to wait for the lab report to come back and may have an interest in resolving your case early. The prosecutor can also take into consideration any drug dependency and the fact that you tried to get ahead of it by seeking treatment. The court may also admit you into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program. If your case is diverted through PTI, and you follow instructions, the charges can be dismissed in accordance with the Pre-Trial Intervention order. Alas, in some situations there may not be any viable resolution except to try the case. Our lawyers have spent over a decade trying criminal cases, honing our skills when cross-examining witnesses, challenging the evidence, and otherwise making it difficult for the state to prove you guilty.
Consult a Synthetic Marijuana Lawyer in New Brunswick Now
When seeking to minimize or mitigate the consequences of synthetic marijuana charges in South Brunswick, Carteret, North Brunswick, Dunellen, Metuchen, Monroe, or another town in the Middlesex County NJ area, contact our criminal law firm for additional information and assistance with defense. You can reach us at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.