Simple Possession of Marijuana Lawyer Camden, NJ
NJ Drug Crime Attorney Represents Clients Charged with Marijuana Possession in Camden County, Gloucester County, and Burlington County
Despite recent trends across the country of states reducing or eliminating criminal punishment for possession of marijuana, New Jersey continues to prosecute individuals who are found in possession of small amounts of marijuana. In fact, even if you are found in possession of an amount that is insufficient to indicate an intent to distribute, the state is likely to charge you with simple possession of marijuana.
What is the criminal offense of simple possession of marijuana, exactly? In New Jersey, simple possession of marijuana involves the possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana. It is defined as a disorderly persons offense and is therefore relatively minor in comparison to other, more serious drug-related charges. If you are found guilty of simple possession of marijuana in NJ, you may be exposed to penalties that include up to six (6) months imprisonment, $1,000 in fines, and a six-month suspension of your driver’s license. Like other drug offenses, a marijuana possession conviction will go on your permanent criminal record, which could hurt your future employment prospects.
If you’ve been charged with simple possession of marijuana in Cherry Hill, Camden, Gloucester Township, or anywhere else in NJ, it’s important to get in touch with a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney for further guidance. South Jersey drug crime lawyer Michele Finizio can help you avoid criminal liability entirely, or in some cases, negotiate a reduced penalty. Call (856) 242-7300 to schedule a free consultation about your marijuana possession charges.
Common Defenses to a Simple Possession of Marijuana Charge in Medford, NJ
There are a number of defenses that you may be able to utilize in order to avoid criminal liability for a simple possession of marijuana charge in New Jersey.
Police Did Not Have Probable Cause
Law enforcement officers need probable cause in order to justify a legal search of your person or vehicle. If an officer does not have probable cause, and they conduct a search of your person or vehicle and find marijuana, then they will not be allowed to introduce such evidence into the case. As evidence of marijuana is core to the prosecution’s argument, this can result in the dismissal of the criminal case brought against you.
You Did Not Have Actual or Constructive Possession
A conviction for simple possession will not stand if you can show that you were not actually in possession of the marijuana. For example, if law enforcement officials find marijuana in your car — next to your friend — but it belongs to your friend (and you were unaware of the presence of marijuana), you could reasonably argue that the drugs were not in your possession.
Put another way: you cannot be held liable for the mere presence of marijuana, unless the prosecution can show that you possessed it.
The Evidence Was Mishandled
Evidence in NJ drug crimes cases is frequently mishandled. If law enforcement mishandles the marijuana evidence before it is lab tested, for example, then this could seriously affect the test results. By calling into question the legitimacy of mishandled evidence in your marijuana possession case, you can undermine the prosecution’s arguments and strengthen your defense.
The Conditional Discharge Option for Gloucester Township Marijuana Charges
If you are found guilty of simple possession of a small amount of marijuana (less than 50 grams in New Jersey) for the first time, then you may be granted a conditional discharge. Conditional discharge is an alternative form of punishment. Instead of facing imprisonment and the prospect of having your permanent record stained with a drug conviction, the court will give you an opportunity to go on probation. If you conduct yourself in accordance with the terms of your probation, then you will not only avoid imprisonment, but the criminal conviction will be erased from your permanent record.
Contact an Experienced South Jersey Criminal Attorney for Further Guidance in Your Cherry Hill Marijuana Possession Case
South Jersey criminal attorney Michele Finizio has spent over a decade representing New Jersey criminal defendants in a range of litigation, including cases that involve the possession of illicit substances (such as marijuana). Attorney Finizio understands that being charged with a drug-related crime like simple possession of marijuana can be an emotionally trying experience, and as such, she works closely with clients throughout the litigation process to ensure that they are kept well-informed about the developments in their case.
Call (856) 242-7300 today to speak with Attorney Finizio about your legal issues, or contact her online. The initial consultation is free, and all communications are confidential. We look forward to hearing from you.