Back in November, New Jersey made the news with the successful vote to decriminalize marijuana. In addition to decriminalization, the new laws also allow the legal use of recreational marijuana. The details or logistics of the new laws have been slow to come. Many await the specific details of when, and where, you can buy marijuana.
In the latest news, New Jersey has dismissed 88,000 cases related to marijuana possession. Each of these cases has been either dismissed or vacated. Additionally, these 88,000 cases are only the start. The state plans to dismiss an estimated total of 360,000 cases in this phase.
The dismissal of these cases is not a complete step, however. These individuals will still need to expunge their records for them to disappear. Once they do so, their record will be clean of those charges. The state is initially only focusing on the dismissal of cases, and cleaning records will be the next step.
What Types of Cases are Being Dismissed?
So far, the cases being dismissed include:
- Selling less than an ounce of marijuana
- Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Being under the influence of marijuana
Other marijuana-related cases may also qualify, such as charges related to failing to turn over marijuana or having possession of marijuana while in a vehicle.
Decriminalization in New Jersey
The decriminalization process began in February when the governor of New Jersey officially legalized marijuana. At the time, the state promised to create a system of legalized marijuana buying for individuals 21 years or older. It also would end the arrests and legal fines that come with the possession of marijuana.
It may be some time still until you can walk into a store and legally buy marijuana. The state will continue to evaluate pending marijuana cases. The state is also working on creating an electronic database that will allow those with dismissed cases to obtain an expungement.
Through the online system, they could request documentation of the expungement record. State officials believe that this will speed up the sometimes slow process. They are also considering removing filing fees and making the whole expungement process fully electronic.
How a Criminal Record Affects You
In addition to removing the legal implications that come with criminal charges, the goal of decriminalization is to improve the lives of those with minimal drug charges. Even once an offender has completed their sentence, they may find it difficult to find good employment or housing. By removing the criminal record of those with marijuana charges, it can improve their chances of escaping their past.
Dealing With Drug Charges? Consult With a Lawyer
Drug charges should never be ignored. Even if it is possible to get your case dismissed in the future, it can have a significant effect on you today. Working with a New Jersey criminal law lawyer who is familiar with the state’s possession and use laws, even with the recent changes, is important as you navigate your case.
Contact an Experienced Mount Laurel Drug Defense Attorney About Your Marijuana Possession Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug-related offense in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio represent clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Camden, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey. Call( 609) 230-0374 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, in addition to an office located in Cherry Hill, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.