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Somerset County Marijuana Lawyer

The American Civil Liberties Union reports that New Jersey has some of the highest arrest rates for marijuana in the entire country and that New Jersey is arresting more people for marijuana possession charges than ever before. This is in stark contrast to the changing consensus of both private citizens and legislators throughout the state.

Despite the general shift in public opinion, marijuana is still considered a controlled dangerous substance under New Jersey’s Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, and a person may be charged with a crime for possessing or distributing marijuana in Somerset County. As such, you should never take a marijuana charge lightly. Not only could you face a fine and potential jail, time but being convicted of a marijuana offense may impact your job, your education, and ultimately your future.

If you find yourself facing a marijuana charge, you probably have many questions and concerns about what to do next. A Somerset County marijuana lawyer could be prepared to provide you with the support and guidance you need. With the time-tested understanding that every case is unique, a dedicated criminal attorney could conduct a thorough investigation of your charges and work to build the best possible defense for your case.

Marijuana Possession Charges in Somerset County

The severity of a marijuana possession charge hinges on the weight of marijuana in a person’s possession at the time of arrest. If an individual is found with 50 grams or less of marijuana, they could be charged with a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4). However, if a person is found to be in possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, they could be charged with a fourth-degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3).

The addition of even one gram of marijuana to a possession charge could make all the difference in terms of potential consequences. While a disorderly persons offense could possibly be viewed as a slap on the wrist, a fourth-degree crime charge is generally punished more severely. An individual arrested for possession should contact a Somerset marijuana lawyer as soon as possible.

Scope of Marijuana Charges

While possession charges are the most commonly filed marijuana-related charges in New Jersey, the state legislature has empowered police officers to charge individuals with other marijuana-related offenses as well. These charges generally center around specific circumstances related to the alleged possession of the illegal drug in question.

A person can be charged with possessing marijuana while operating a motor vehicle under N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1. This statute prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while knowingly in possession of any controlled dangerous substance.

In a similar vein, New Jersey law defines a school zone as any property used for school purposes which are owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or any location within 1,000 feet of such school property or a school bus. If a person is found to be in possession of marijuana with an intent to distribute within a school zone, they may be charged with a third-degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.

Conditional Discharge Programs

In any Somerset County marijuana case, it is important to consider how much marijuana is involved. Specifically, it is important to know how many grams of marijuana a person allegedly possessed at the time they were apprehended. This is because if a person is arrested with under 50 grams of marijuana, they may be eligible for a conditional discharge.

A conditional discharge is a diversionary program, similar in many ways to probation, that is meant to keep an accused individual out of jail. If a court accepts a conditional discharge, the defendant who receives it must not violate the terms of the program for the prescribed period of time. If they abide by these terms, their charges may be dropped and struck from their record at the conclusion of the program. A Somerset County marijuana lawyer could advocate on a defendant’s behalf to help them receive a conditional discharge.

Speak with a Somerset County Marijuana Attorney

If you were charged with a marijuana-related offense, it could be critical to have a knowledgeable, experienced, and aggressive Somerset County marijuana lawyer on your side. A dedicated marijuana attorney could explain your rights and provide tenacious litigation in the courtroom to protect your freedom. Call today to get started on your case.