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How Criminal Lawyers Fight Drug Possession Crimes

New Jersey Marijuana Possession Laws and Penalties

The laws governing drug possession such as marijuana possession vary considerably across the United States. What is legal in one state could be a felony in another. In New Jersey, the law that treats the possession of 'controlled dangerous substances' is the New Jersey Statute: 2C:35-10. It has two subsections that specifically deal with marijuana possession. Subsection a(4) deals with possession of less than 50 grams while subsection a(3) deals with possession of more than 50 grams. The line between 50 grams and 50.001 is negligible but the legal implications are very serious.

If an individual is found with 50 grams or less, then they are described as 'disorderly', an offense that can attract up to six months in prison and a fine of $1,000. Because the definition of marijuana in New Jersey is a 'controlled dangerous substance', more penalties can be imposed. These include; a two year driver's license suspension, a compulsory DEDR charge of $500 and a $50 laboratory charge. Additionally, the person gets a drug conviction on his record.

Possession of more than 50 grams is a fourth degree crime in New Jersey and is classified as a felony. It is punishable with up to eighteen months in state prison and a fine of $25,000. The DEDR penalty increases to $750 together with a laboratory fee of $50 and a two year driver's license suspension.

How Criminal Lawyers Evaluate Possession of a CDS

When a person is charged with drug possession, especially marijuana possession, his lawyer will evaluate the circumstances under which the charges were filed. The lawyer will look for loopholes such as whether the police office acted constitutionally in obtaining the marijuana and arresting the individual. The lawyer will also try to find out if the state can actually prove that the individual charged was arrested with marijuana and if it really was marijuana. They will see if the person charged is eligible for pre-trial intervention (PTI). This may not be the best option under some circumstances.

How Criminal Lawyers Fight Possession Crimes

Criminal lawyers defending individuals charged with marijuana possession can explore several options, these include, seeking motions to suppress charge or submitting applications for conditional release. Seeking a motion to suppress aims to suppress the marijuana seized as evidence. This can happen if the marijuana acquired was in an unlawful and unconstitutional way. A conditional discharge does not dispute the confiscation of the marijuana; it simply adjourns the court proceedings for some time. If the person being charged does not breach the stipulations of the conditional discharge, the accusation of possession of marijuana below 50 grams can be thrown out. To see what other techniques criminal lawyers use to help their clients visits this website.