New Jersey made the news when the governor signed into law a bill that bans officers from telling parents when their kids are first busted with weed possession or use.
Understanding the New Law
On February 22, 2021, the governor signed a law that legalizes recreational marijuana. With this, also came new laws and the decriminalization of weed, even for underage users. While underage users are still not legally allowed to possess or use, marijuana, they will only receive a warning if caught with marijuana.
Police officers cannot legally notify parents of an underage person’s use of marijuana on their first offense. The first offense must be officially documented also, in order for the police officer to notify the parents following the second offense. These laws also extend to the possession or use of alcohol.
If an officer ignores this law, they can be subject to criminal prosecution. Officers also cannot request that an underage minor consent to a search. Some officials worry about the consequences of this law, as well as the potential for a mistake of evaluating someone’s age who is clearly using marijuana.
An underage minor using marijuana would receive a verbal warning for the first occasion. If they receive a second offense, they will then notify parents, only if they are under the age of 18. With a third offense, they may be required to take drug treatment services and have to pay a $50 penalty fee or complete community service.
Some officers worry about the outcome of these laws. Many have reported that notifying the parents is often an alternative to pursuing charges. This will no longer be an option. By not notifying parents of the first offense, the minor may be closer to a formal charge by the time they are even aware of the child’s use.
Dealing with Drug Charges?
Drug charges in New Jersey can lead to severe consequences. You could have expensive fines or even required jail time. Drug charges for a minor can ruin their futures, as their employment and college opportunities are affected. Drug charges could also prevent minors from being able to take out student loans.
If you are dealing with drug charges in New Jersey, it is important to reach out to a drug defense lawyer as soon as possible. You need a lawyer who understands the complexities of the law and who can build a defense for you.
The state is working toward legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana. However, it will take time for these laws to go into effect and for the state to figure out the logistics. If you are charged with marijuana charges in the meantime, it is possible to get caught in the middle where you could still be met with jail time and a criminal record.
Make sure you reach out to a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer today. If your minor is dealing with charges, give them a chance at a future free of criminal consequences.
Contact an Experienced Medford Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Drug Charges in Medford
Were you arrested or charged with drug charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with drug charges in Medford, Burlington Township, Moorestown, Camden, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 230-0374 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, as well as offices 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.
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