Middlesex County Drug Possession Lawyer providing Aggressive legal counsel if you are charged with possession of a controlled substance
Possession of drugs can be actual or constructive. Actual means the drugs were on your body or clothing when you were detained. Constructive means the drugs were found near you and the circumstances strongly suggest they were in your possession at some time. Drug charges are classified according to the harm they can cause. Some drugs are prescriptions, which can be authorized. Other drugs are illegal in almost all cases.
Your Options if You are Accused of Drug Possession in Middlesex County
The Middlesex criminal defense lawyers at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., have been helping protect the accused for 60 years. We are experienced at trying cases in federal and state courts. We prepare each case for trial and only negotiate plea bargains that are in your best interest and have your approval. Many of our lawyers first served as prosecutors. Our attorneys have had many charges dismissed successfully.
Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana
Marijuana is a Schedule I drug in New Jersey. It is categorized as a 3rd degree indictable offense, which can carry three to five years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000.
Small amounts of marijuana—less than 50 grams—are treated as disorderly offenses, or municipal offenses. While county jail time is possible, the penalties for convictions are much less severe than 3rd degree offenses.
Possession of less than 50 grams is treated less severely because the amount indicates the person in possession probably intended to use the drug personally instead of sell it to others. 50 grams is about two ounces of marijuana and costs about $400 to $500
Often, our Middlesex drug lawyers can assert challenges to possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana. We may argue that someone else was in possession of the drug and you just happened to be nearby. Our lawyers often challenge the grounds for the search, especially if the marijuana was found in a home or apartment.
Penalties for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana
The penalties for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana are harsh:
- Jail or imprisonment. The municipal court judge can impose a sentence of up to 6 months. The judge can also order probation. During the probationary period, the defendant will be required to undergo random drug testing. If the defendant is found guilty of violating probation, he/she will normally be sent to jail and will also have to respond to the probation violation.
- Fines and penalties. The maximum fine is $1,000 plus additional assessment fees, such as $75 for safe neighborhoods. The defendant will also have to pay the court costs – the administrative fees for handling the defendant’s case.
- Suspension of the driver’s license. The defendant can also lose his/her driving privileges for up to six months, even if a car was not involved in the crime.
- Community service. The defendant may be required to perform 100 hours of community service if the defendant possessed the marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school bus or school.
5 grams of hashish is treated similarly to less than 50 grams of marijuana.
Alternatives to pleas and sentences
New Jersey does have a beneficial alternative to a trial or a guilty plea. Defendants who don’t have a prior conviction and haven’t taken advantage of a diversion program before can receive a conditional discharge of their case. This means that the individual’s case is put on hold for a year. In general, if he/she doesn’t get into trouble with the law and passes any random drug tests, the charges will be dismissed.
Our Middlesex drug possession lawyers help arrange conditional diversions. We may also argue that the defendant had a debilitating medication condition, such as cancer or glaucoma. This exception to drug possession charges requires that the individual have a doctor’s certificate authorizing the marijuana use and a valid registration from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
Make an appointment with a respected Middlesex County drug possession lawyer today
There are defense strategies that can help you. Often, the prosecution’s case is not as strong as you think. We may be able to have evidence discarded because it was obtained illegally. To speak with a trusted Middlesex controlled substance lawyer at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., please phone us at (908) 561-5577. You can also make an appointment through our contact form.