Simple Possession of Marijuana Lawyer Robbinsville, NJ
New Jersey Drug Crime Lawyer Represents Clients Charged with Simple Possession of Marijuana in Mercer County, Monmouth County, Burlington County, and Middlesex County, NJ
It is no secret that the nation’s attitudes toward marijuana use have changed in recent years, and many states have adopted laws that display an increased attitude of leniency toward individuals who are caught with only a small amount of marijuana. Often, individuals who are arrested for a drug crime like simple possession of marijuana in NJ have absolutely no criminal record, and they may not even realize that they can still be arrested for possessing marijuana under New Jersey law.
At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I am a Robbinsville simple possession of marijuana lawyer who handles marijuana possession cases on a regular basis, and I understand how a conviction could impact your personal and professional life. I fight vigorously to obtain dismissals and keep your record clean. Contact my office today at 609-587-1144 to schedule a free consultation, during which I will explain your options and begin the process of putting the arrest behind you.
Why Choose NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren Scardella to Defend Your Simple Possession of Marijuana Case in Trenton, New Jersey?
Simple possession of marijuana is essentially a charge that an individual possessed less than 50 grams of marijuana. It is a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4) that is generally punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Despite the fact that simple possession is a relatively minor crime in the grand scheme of the NJ criminal justice system, I understand that any conviction for a drug-related crime can severely impact my clients’ futures. Because of this, I advocate for options that can eliminate or reduce the charge in all cases.
Criminal Attorney Lauren Scardella Fights For Reduced Punishment in Robbinsville Simple Possession of Marijuana Cases
If a client is found guilty of simple possession of marijuana in Hamilton, Robbinsville, Trenton, Plainsboro, or anywhere else in New Jersey, jail time is not the inevitable punishment in all cases.The New Jersey courts may be willing to agree to alternative forms of punishment for first offenders and minors who are guilty of possessing only a small amount of marijuana. Often, alternative forms of punishment will involve rehabilitation and substance abuse counseling to avoid future drug crime charges. Potential options for reduced or dropped charges may include Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), conditional discharge, or a plea agreement.
Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI)
I strongly advocate for PTI in appropriate drug crime cases, as this program can result in complete dismissal of all charges against the accused individual. This program is available under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 to first offenders charged with marijuana possession, and it mandates supervised rehabilitation when it can reasonably be expected that supervision or rehabilitation will prevent future crimes, or where it is apparent that the simple possession of marijuana charge stemmed from the defendant’s need for rehabilitation or substance abuse counseling. If PTI is granted, the judge can suspend all criminal proceedings against the individual until he or she completes treatment. In determining whether PTI is appropriate, the judge will consider:
- The offense that is charged, and whether that offense was a violent offense that could potentially have injured others.
- All facts of the case, including the motivation and age of the defendant.
- Whether the complainant or victim wishes to forego prosecution.
- Personal issues and conditions of the defendant that are related to the crime and for which services may be unavailable or less effective within the criminal justice system, and whether prosecution would exacerbate the social problems leading to the criminal act.
- The likelihood that the crime is related to a condition or situation that would likely be improved through participation in supervised treatment.
- The interests of any victims and society as a whole, including whether the nature of the crime indicates that the value of treatment is outweighed by the need for prosecution.
- Whether the crime fits into a pattern of anti-social behavior and the defendant’s past criminal record and history of physical violence toward others.
- Any involvement by the defendant with organized crime.
- Whether PTI would adversely impact prosecution of any co-defendants.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1, conditional discharge allows the client to avoid jail time and serve a probationary sentence instead, typically lasting between six months and one year, but potentially for up to three years. During this time, the individual must remain drug-free and arrest-free. After the client has successfully completed the probationary period, the judge may drop the marijuana possession charges and allow the client to have the charge removed from his or her record. Conditional discharge is generally available only to first offenders.
A plea agreement may become an option where the client is not eligible for PTI or conditional discharge but the prosecution’s case has weaknesses that would make it difficult to prove that the client committed the actual crime accused. Plea agreements generally require the client to admit guilt to a lesser charge in order to avoid a lengthy jail sentence or larger monetary fines.
Contact a Reputable NJ Drug Crime Defense Attorney in Your West Windsor Marijuana Possession Case
Contact the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton at 609-587-1144 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your marijuana possession charges. I am always available to take your call, or you can fill out this online form and I will respond promptly. I understand that your marijuana possession case is too important to wait, so I am always available to answer questions and respond to the prosecution quickly. Our office is located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana Possession Charges in NJ
What is the difference between simple possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana?
Weight. The charge for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana is significantly less severe than the charge for possession of more than 50 grams of the drug. Possessing more than 50 grams of marijuana can lead to charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. It is a fourth degree crime for which a fine of up to $25,000, in addition to a lengthy prison sentence, may be imposed.
Why do I need an attorney for a simple possession of marijuana charge?
An experienced New Jersey drug crimes attorney understands the potential avenues that can be explored to possibly avoid conviction in a marijuana possession case, and they can fight to have the charge itself removed from your record. A drug crime conviction will remain on your criminal record. Moreover, if you are arrested again, your prior marijuana possession conviction could increase the penalties that can be brought against you—even if the subsequent arrest is again for simple possession.