New Jersey Marijuana Possession Lawyer

Many states, such as California, Massachusetts, and Colorado, have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. New Jersey has yet to follow these states down the path to legalization.

If a person is found have even a very small amount of marijuana in their possession, New Jersey treats this as a crime that may carry significant jail time in addition to heavy fines. When a person is accused of marijuana possession, it is understandable to be confused and scared.

A New Jersey possession of marijuana lawyer can help you understand the nature of the charges and work with you to reach the best possible outcome. Contact a skilled drug possession attorney to get started on your case.

New Jersey Marijuana Laws

The laws in New Jersey concerning the possession of marijuana, and indeed all illegal drugs, can be found in New Jersey Statute 2C:35-5.

While many sections of this statute concern the possession of opiates and narcotics, the marijuana-specific sections are located at subsection 10. Subsection 10 covers not only marijuana in its ready to be consumed form, but also plants, hashish, or dilutants.

Further, New Jersey does not differentiate between strict possession and any intent to distribute. Because of this, potential penalties are strict. Specific penalties include:

  • Possession of 25 pounds or more is a first-degree crime with an additional fine of up to $300,000
  • Possession of between five pounds and 25 pounds is a second-degree crime
  • Possession of more than one ounce, but less than five pounds is a third-degree crime with an additional fine of up to $25,000
  • Possession of less than one ounce is a fourth-degree crime
  • A conviction under any of these categories carries a potential jail sentence. From a 4th degree crime with a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in jail to a first-degree crime carrying a maximum jail term of 20 years, the penalties outlined in NJ Statute 2C:43-6 are strict.

    The Concept of Possession

    It is generally understood that if marijuana is found on a person when searched by a police officer, it is in their possession. However, law enforcement may use other methods and theories in an attempt to establish that marijuana is in that person’s possession.

    One common way to establish possession is the theory of constructive possession. Just as someone might say that they possess their car, even though they are not currently driving it, the police may attempt to use this same logic against a defendant in a possession of marijuana case.

    If the police use a search warrant to look in a person’s house, they may find marijuana. That person will then be charged with possession, even though the police did not find it on that person’s body.

    Another common New Jersey possession of marijuana lawyer tactic is to argue that this warrant was improperly executed. More information on the topic of constructive possession can be found here.

    How a New Jersey Possession of Marijuana Attorney Help You

    In New Jersey, even the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana can result in jail time and a criminal record. An attorney will be knowledgeable and industrious in helping people protect their rights in the criminal justice system.

    Possession of marijuana cases can hinge on how the drugs were seized and how that evidence was cataloged.

    A New Jersey possession of marijuana lawyer will examine every aspect of your unique case to form a defense strategy tailored to your situation. From arraignment to evidentiary motions, to a possible trial, an attorney will help you through every step of the process. Contact a lawyer today to learn more about your rights.