Elmwood Park NJ Possession of Marijuana under 50g Attorneys

Possession of Marijuana under 50 grams is probably the most common drug charge issued by Bergen County police officers. The governing statute in New Jersey for possession of marijuana is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4). This type of offense is considered a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) and if convicted a defendant can face up to six (6) months in the Bergen County Jail. There is a common misconception that this level of offense is minor in nature, as you will see below the applicable penalties for anyone convicted of a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4) are severe. More often than not an individual charged with possessing marijuana is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle. A conviction for any of the aforementioned crimes can have a serious impact on both your current and potential employment opportunities as well as your chances of being accepted into college. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has eight criminal defense attorneys on staff, including four former prosecutors. With over 100 years of experience on staff we are prepared to fight for your liberty. We have been successfully defending individuals charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams throughout Bergen County in towns like Mahwah, Fort Lee, Englewood Cliffs, Ramsey, Hackensack, East Rutherford and Paramus for over fifteen years. Listed below is some of the important information with regards to a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4) including the necessary elements of the offense and potential penalties if convicted.

Saddle Brook NJ Marijuana Possession Attorneys

Possession of Marijuana Under 50g: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4)

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4) in pertinent part states:

a. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized. Any person who violates this section with respect to:
(4) Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person.
What is Actual Possession?
Actual possession occurs when the defendant is determined to have physical possession of the marijuana at the time of the arrest. The typical actual possession scenario is when the defendant has the said marijuana either on their persons or on a “bag” whether it be a pocketbook or backpack.
What is Constructive Possession?
Constructive possession will be determined when the defendant does not actually have physical possession of the marijuana at the time of the arrest but it can be proven that the defendant was aware of the marijuana whereabouts, and they had the underline intention to exercise control over the marijuana and they also had the  capacity to exercise said control. The typical scenerio where constructive possession occurs is when the marijuana is discovered in say the trunk of the defendants car.

Applicable Penalties if Convicted:

As stated above, possession of marijuana under 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). If convicted, the defendant will face up to six months in the Bergen County Jail, up to a $1000.00 fine and an estimated $700.00 worth of mandatory fees and assessments. In addition, a defendant is subjected to a potential six (6) month loss of their drivers license, probation and community service as well.

Depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history, they may be eligible for the conditional discharge program. The Conditional Discharge Program is a diversionary program in New Jersey which allows for individuals to bypass the traditional methods of prosecution. If eligible and if accepted into the program the defendant will be afforded the opportunity to walk away from these otherwise serious charges without a criminal record.

Rutherford NJ Marijuana Possession Lawyer

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has the experience and skill set needed to protect your rights. We have been representing individuals charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams in towns like Ramsey, Lodi, East Rutherford, Garfield, Fair Lawn, River Vale and Palisades Interstate Park for over fifteen years. If you or someone you know has been charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4) we can help. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for free initial consultation.