Charged with a Marijuana Offense in Roselle NJ
April 15, 2020
Roselle Marijuana Lawyers
Arrests for marijuana in Roselle and throughout Union County, New Jersey have not slowed down despite recent talks of potentially legalizing the substance. In many of these cases, the arrests are for simple possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana. While in others, the charges have been upgraded to indictable crimes for possession of more than 50 grams, distribution, or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. There are significant distinctions between these types of marijuana charges in the Borough of Roselle and statewide, as indictable crimes permit harsher jail sentences and have more grave overall impacts than disorderly persons offenses. Nevertheless, there may be the potential to have the charges dismissed with motions to suppress critical evidence, or through diversionary programs such as a conditional discharge and Pretrial Intervention. No matter what degree of crime is involved in your case, our talented team of Roselle Marijuana Defense Lawyers will apply all of our knowledge and experience to assessing the discovery, identifying the best defenses and options at your disposal, and determining how we can achieve the most favorable outcome. We encourage you to contact us at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been arrested for marijuana in Roselle Borough, as we are here to provide the dedicated legal counsel you need now.
Arrested for Possession of Less than 50 Grams of Marijuana in Roselle NJ
If you are arrested with marijuana in Roselle and the amount is less than 50 grams, you will be charged with a disorderly persons offense. The judge in Roselle Municipal Court, located at 210 Chestnut Street, is the trier of fact and can sentence you to attend drug treatment, pay a $1000 punitive fine, a $500 mandatory drug penalty, place you on probation, or even send you to jail for up to 6 months. Fortunately, the sentence may not be imposed for those whose charges are dismissed outright or after successful completion of the conditional discharge program.
Charged with a Fourth Degree Crime for Marijuana Possession in Roselle NJ
If the police pull you over and supposedly smell marijuana coming from the vehicle, they can legally search your car. If they search you and your car and ultimately find marijuana with a measured weight of over 50 grams but less than one ounce, you will be charged with a fourth degree crime. All indictable crimes arising in Roselle are heard in the Union County Superior Court located at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth. If a jury finds you guilty, the Judge has the authority to sentence you to a maximum of 18 months in state prison and up to $25,000 in fines. If you have greater than an ounce of marijuana, or you possess the amount with intent to distribute in a school zone, the degree of crime and associated consequences will rise.
Roselle Manufacturing, Distributing, and Intent to Distribute Marijuana Charges
Often, police arrest someone and suspect that he may be a “dealer” as opposed to a recreational user of marijuana. The facts surrounding the arrest, as well as the evidence uncovered, may lead the police to the conclusion that you are dealing marijuana or possess the marijuana with the intent to distribute. During a motor vehicle stop, an officer with probable cause to believe that your car contains contraband or evidence of a crime, may ask you to step out of the car, beginning a search of the car and its contents.
If the officer finds nothing or decides to call in reinforcements, they may request the K-9 unit to assist in the search. Often, drug-sniffing dogs will find otherwise undetectable marijuana and other drugs stashed in a relatively concealed area of a car or another area. If there are several baggies, a scale, or large sums of cash found in the vehicle, these facts taken together will be used to support a conclusion that you possessed the marijuana with the intent to distribute. If the amount of marijuana is less than one ounce, you will be charged with a fourth degree crime.
On the other hand, if the amount possessed is greater than one ounce but not more than 5 pounds, charges for an indictable crime of the third degree may be filed against you. A third degree crime has a potential sentence of 3 to 5 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. You can be sentenced to 5-10 years for a second degree crime, with a weight of greater than 5 pounds to as much as 25 pounds or 10-49 marijuana plants. In more rare circumstances, someone may possess greater than 25 pounds or 50 plants or more, in which case they will be charged with a first degree crime. For a first degree crime, there is a presumption of incarceration, a prison term of 10 to 20 years, and up to $300,000 in fines.
The weight of the alleged substance includes any “adulterants or dilutants” and is determined by using a scale. The phrase adulterants or dilutants means that any additive or substance that adds to the overall weight of the marijuana is included. So, if the marijuana is mixed with some other substance to bulk up the product, you will be charged with the weight that this adds to the marijuana, despite it not being an actual drug.
Facing Roselle Marijuana Charges, What are my Options?
If you are a first-time offender, you are undoubtedly scared and concerned about what will happen to you. Fortunately, New Jersey understands that things happen and people make mistakes. For this reason, the state allows the municipal court to order you to take part in the conditional discharge program in lieu of being convicted. If you meet the conditions over a specified period of time, your charges will be dismissed, and you will not have a conviction on your record. A similar program is also available in the Superior Court for those charged with felony crimes for possessing more than 50 grams, and some forms of distribution.
Just as a conditional discharge is available in some marijuana cases in Municipal Court, Pretrial Intervention (PTI) may be available in the Superior Court. PTI can result in the dismissal of your charges if you abide all of the terms. However, before you are even allowed to take part in the program, you must make a written application, which is then followed up with an interview. This can be complicated, as the probation department and the prosecutors in Union County are discerning about who they let in. Our office has experience in dealing with Union County prosecutors, as well as the Criminal Division, and we have assisted many clients with successful enrollment in PTI. We can help prep you for the interview, best position yourself for admission, and understand what is in store for you should you be accepted.
Charged with Marijuana in Roselle NJ, Who can Help?
Not everyone is eligible for PTI or conditional discharge, and there is no universal solution that is applicable to everyone charged with marijuana in Roselle or elsewhere in New Jersey. The important thing to do is to enlist the dedicated legal counsel of an experienced Roselle marijuana attorney who can assess your individual case and determine how to pursue the solution that is right for you. Our lawyers understand that everyone is in a different position and the facts of the case are unique when a person is arrested for a marijuana offense. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, distribution, or intent to distribute in Roselle, contact our lawyers now for a free consultation. We will take the time to explain the specific charges to you, discuss the facts, and determine your possible next steps toward the best outcome. Schedule an appointment at our local office in Union County, send us a message via chat, or call (908) 838-0150 today.