South Jersey Defense Lawyer for Marijuana Possession & Distribution
Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer Fights to Protect Clients Arrested on Marijuana Possession and Distribution Charges in Camden County, NJ
Although the laws surrounding marijuana use and possession are changing in New Jersey and throughout the country, under current law marijuana possession and distribution remains a criminal offense in the state. The possible penalties for marijuana possession or distribution remain serious and always carry the possibility that you will spend time in jail, even if you are a first-time offender. Because of this, if you are facing charges of marijuana possession or distribution in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey, it is critical that you contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer to help you successfully navigate the legal system and build a strong defense in your case.
At Gelman Law, LLC, we have nearly a decade worth of experience successfully defending the rights of clients who have been accused of marijuana possession and distribution in New Jersey. We use our prior experience working as a Burlington County prosecutor to effectively negotiate for reduced charges or even a dismissal if possible in your case. In some cases, we may even be able to help you avoid conviction entirely through New Jersey’s conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention programs. Remember that even if the crime charged is a disorderly persons offense, conviction can still carry jail time and can negatively impact your future. Call our offices today to see how we can help in your case.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession and Distribution in New Jersey Depend Upon Several Factors
In evaluating the potential penalties that may apply if you are convicted on marijuana possession or distribution charges in New Jersey, the weight of the marijuana involved is the primary factor in determining the level of punishment you will face. Other considerations include your past history of criminal activity and the actual offense charged. For example, some potential penalties for various marijuana-related offenses include:
- Simple marijuana possession. A charge of simple possession of marijuana, meaning that you possessed 50 grams or less of marijuana, is a disorderly persons offense where the maximum possible penalties are six months in prison and a $1,000 fine (assuming no aggravating factors are present). Probation, driver’s license suspension and random drug testing may also be a part of the sentence.
- Marijuana possession. If you possessed more than 50 grams of marijuana, the penalties increase to a potential 18-month prison sentence and up to $25,000 in fines.
- Distribution of less than one ounce. Charges for distributing (or intending to distribute) very small amounts of marijuana (less than one ounce) can result in fourth-degree criminal charges carrying up to 18 months in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
- Distribution of between five and 25 pounds. As the weight of the marijuana distributed increases, so do the penalties. The penalty for distribution of at least five, but no more than 25 pounds of marijuana is between five and ten years in jail and up to $150,000 in fines (a second-degree criminal offense).
Marijuana possession or distribution within 1,000 feet of a school is a more serious crime for which you will face additional potential penalties. For example, 100 hours of community service can be added to a simple possession of marijuana charge. If the underlying charge is the distribution of more than one ounce of marijuana, you can face up to five years in prison with a mandatory period of parole ineligibility.
Seasoned Cherry Hill Marijuana Possession and Distribution Defense Lawyer Committed to Constructing Strong and Effective Defense Strategies for Clients
While New Jersey marijuana possession and distribution charges remain serious, your arrest does not automatically mean that you will be convicted. The experienced marijuana possession and distribution defense team at Gelman Law, LLC has significant experience and resources necessary to construct a strong and effective defense strategy that can help minimize the potential for adverse consequences based upon the facts of your case. Potential defense strategies will vary based upon your specific case, and may include:
- Lack of probable cause for the search that revealed the marijuana,
- Failure to respect your constitutional rights during the investigation, arrest or interrogation,
- Lack of intent to distribute the marijuana,
- The drugs were not actually in your possession and under your control.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a Skilled Burlington County Marijuana Possession and Distribution Defense Lawyer Today
Regardless of how the laws governing marijuana are changing throughout the country, the fact remains that marijuana possession and distribution remains a criminal offense with the potential for severe penalties if convicted. Retaining the counsel of an experienced marijuana possession and distribution lawyer gives you the best chance of minimizing the potential for a negative outcome in your case. Call or contact our skilled marijuana possession and distribution defense team to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss potential defense options in your case today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana Possession and Distribution Charges in New Jersey
Eligibility for the conditional discharge program for marijuana possession and distribution charges depends upon the amount of marijuana involved. If you possessed less than 50 grams of marijuana, you may be eligible for conditional discharge so that you can essentially complete a probationary period rather than being formally convicted. However, it is important to remember that if you have already completed the conditional discharge program in the past, you will not be eligible a second time so will face a disorderly persons offense charge even if you only possessed a small amount of marijuana.
The type of charge involved will dictate whether you have the right to a trial by jury. If you are charged with a lesser marijuana-related offense, such as simple possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, your case will be tried in municipal court where you do not have the right to a trial by jury. You do, however, have the right to an attorney who will advocate on your behalf before the judge to help minimize the potential penalties the court may impose. If your charge is a more serious marijuana-related offense, your case will be heard in Superior Court where you may face a jury trial.