New Jersey Defense Attorney for Marijuana Possession Charges
In New Jersey, it is illegal to possess marijuana without a Medical Marijuana Program identification card (MMP ID). Even if you have an MMP ID, possessing marijuana in an unlawful quantity or for an unlawful purpose can lead to criminal prosecution and sentencing as well.
The level of offense and potential penalties for marijuana possession are based primarily on the quantity in your possession at the time of your arrest. Possession of 50 grams or less is classified as a disorderly persons offense, while possession of more than 50 grams is a fourth-degree indictable offense (comparable to a felony in other states) that carries a substantial fine and long-term imprisonment:
- Possession of Marijuana (50 grams or less) – Up to six months of jail time and a maximum fine of $1,000
- Possession of Marijuana (more than 50 grams) – Up to 18 months of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.
A marijuana possession conviction can also result in a six-month driver’s license suspension; and, if your arrest occurred within 1,000 feet of a school zone, you could be facing enhanced fines and up to 100 hours of community service. Individuals convicted of a fourth-degree indictable offense for possession of marijuana are also likely to face probation following their release from prison.
“Constructive Possession” of Marijuana
If you did not have marijuana on your person at the time of your arrest, can you still be convicted of possession? In New Jersey, the answer is “yes.” In addition to penalizing actual possession of marijuana, New Jersey’s marijuana possession law also penalizes what is known as “constructive possession.” In order to obtain a guilty verdict for constructive possession of marijuana, all prosecutors need to prove is that:
- You knew of the presence of marijuana, and
- You had the intention to exercise physical control of the marijuana.
As a result, when defending against a marijuana possession charge, it is critical to present a defense that focuses on more than challenging evidence of actual possession. With the potential for incarceration and lifelong consequences (even a disorderly persons conviction will go on your permanent record), you need to do everything possible to avoid a conviction at trial.
Do You Have an MMP ID?
Under New Jersey’s Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act, it is now possible to obtain a prescription for medical marijuana to alleviate pain and other symptoms of certain types of diseases. In order to legally possess medical marijuana, it is necessary to obtain an MMP ID. If you have an MMP ID and you obtained your marijuana pursuant to a valid prescription, you do not deserve to be convicted. However, to make sure you do not suffer unjust consequences, it will be important to work with an attorney who can protect your rights in court.
Call or Click for a Free Consultation
Have you been arrested for possession of marijuana in New Jersey? If so, defense attorney Scott Gorman can help. To discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation, call (201) 379-4978 or request an appointment online now.