Marijuana laws are constantly changing as more and more states move toward legalization and regulation. At some point, marijuana will possibly be treated just like alcoholic beverages or cigarettes. Until then, anybody caught in possession of marijuana without a valid medical prescription will be arrested and charged with a criminal violation. Regardless of the amount of marijuana possessed, any arrest and conviction for marijuana possession will leave you with a criminal record. If you or a family member were issued a summons complaint for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana in Chesterfield, Florence, Burlington, Bordentown, Pemberton, Mount Laurel, Medford, Maple Shade, Riverside or Willingboro, it is crucial that you learn exactly what penalties you are facing and what outcomes are possible. As you can read further below, possession of marijuana will either be treated as a disorderly persons offense or a fourth degree indictable offense. Depending on the circumstances and the quantity of drugs involved, you may also be charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. For more information, please contact our office today at (609) 850-8284.
What are the Penalties for Possession of Less Than 50 Grams of Marijuana?
Were you charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana? If you received a summons complaint that lists the criminal charge N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4), then you were are facing a disorderly persons offense under New Jersey law. As a disorderly persons offense, possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana carries up to six (6) months in the Burlington County Jail, a $1,000 fine, court fees and assessments, probation, a criminal record and a driver’s license suspension up to six (6) months.
What are the Penalties for Possession of More Than 50 Grams of Marijuana?
If you are arrested in possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, then you will be criminal charged under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3). This is a fourth degree felony that carries up to eighteen (18) months in a New Jersey State Prison, a $25,000 fine, court fees and assessments, a felony criminal record and a six (6) month suspension of your driver’s license. Also, depending on the amount of marijuana and whether or not you also possessed paraphernalia like a scale or baggies, you could be charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, which is a more serious offense.
Can the NJ Cops Search My Car if They Smell Marijuana?
Yes. Due to new case law, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that if an officer smelled the odor of burnt marijuana, they are permitted to conduct a search of the motor vehicle without your consent. Even when they do not smell marijuana, police officers may threaten to “tow your car” unless you give them consent to search. With these unfortunate rulings and dirty police tactics, it is difficult for most defendants to fight these cases. Nevertheless, there may be grounds to suppress an illegal search or get your charges dismissed / downgraded. Some things to consider in any marijuana case are: Did the officers have probable cause to search my car? Did the officers obtain my free and voluntary consent? Was the initial motor vehicle stop legal? Where was the marijuana found? Was there an issue in the chain of custody before the marijuana was tested? Are the laboratory result admissible? These are just a few of the things that an experienced criminal defense attorney will look at in any marijuana possession or drug possession case.
Will I Go to Jail for Possession of Marijuana?
If you were only charged with marijuana possession and you do not have a prior criminal record, the prospect of incarceration is unlikely. However, if you were charged with distribution of marijuana, then you could be facing a term of imprisonment or probation conditioned upon jail. Either way, a conviction for marijuana possession will still carry a criminal record and suspension of your driver’s license. For more information on the penalties for a criminal charge involving marijuana, call (609) 850-8284.
Mount Holly NJ Marijuana Attorneys
If you or someone in your immediate family have been arrested or charged with drug possession involving possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, you need to take this offense seriously. If you were charged in Burlington County, contact our officer for an immediate and complimentary consultation. We have dedicated our careers to the practice of criminal defense. Firm Partner, William C. Fay, IV, is a former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General who has a plethora of experience and knowledge that he puts to use for his clients. Allow Mr. Fay to review your case with you and help explain how your case will progress through the justice system. For an immediate and complimentary consultation, please contact our Burlington County Law Firm at (609) 850-8284.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted.