Marijuana Charges: The 50 Grams Case
Please note: New Jersey recently voted to legalize recreational marijuana, but the law itself is still being written. If you are facing any marijuana-related criminal charges, we encourage you to call our office at 908-643-6801 or contact us online to discuss how the new law may affect your case.
It is extremely common for criminal charges to evolve out of a routine traffic stop. For example, a New Jersey Man was recently arrested during a traffic detention, which was initiated after a purported moving violation. A subsequent investigation uncovered a wrapper that allegedly contained marijuana. After this incident, the man was charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana.
This story and similar accounts are frequent in the state of New Jersey. In fact, this charge is one of the most common drug crimes in the area. Some individuals know the offense as “simple possession.” It is considered a disorderly persons offense.
It is important to note that this offense is easy to pick up. The smallest trace of marijuana could bring about an arrest. A pipe containing resin, a seed of marijuana or a used roach are chargeable.
Under this law, a convicted person can face up to half a year behind bars. Other penalties may include community service, a $1,000 fine and probation. The repercussions may increase if the person was arrested in a school zone.
The term “possession” can be somewhat foggy, as it depends on the totality of the circumstances. In fact, person can face charges for this offense if the drugs are not even on his or her person. The law notes that if a suspect has knowledge of something, in addition to the ability to control such object, this is presumed possession. Of course, each defendant’s case is determined on a case-by-case basis. The legal assessment of the crime can be complex and challenging.
First time drug offenders
The good news is that the law may have mercy on first-time offenders. For example, in some cases, a convicted person might be eligible for a deferred adjudication option. This is called conditional discharge. However, this option depends on the specific defendant and the circumstances of the case at hand.
As in the aforementioned matter, when a 50 grams case is coupled with a traffic stop, an automobile search might ensue. Moreover, the warrant exception to automobile searches is constantly transforming in the law. For this reason, it is important to have a legal professional when addressing such charges. If an analysis of a traffic stop or automobile search reveals that authorities were not acting in accordance with the Fourth Amendment, this could compromise any evidence in the state’s case against the defendant.
If you have been charged with a 50 grams case in New Jersey, consider assistance from a professional defense attorney. A lawyer can help you assert your rights.