While marijuana laws in some states have lately become less punitive, you can still face serious penalties in New Jersey for a marijuana conviction, especially if you are accused of distribution. In a recent post, we discussed the possible legalization of marijuana, but no such law has yet been passed in our state. If you have been accused of a marijuana-related crime, then you should speak with a defense attorney as soon as possible.

Recently, a police raid led to marijuana charges against a young man from Egg Harbor Township. Authorities reportedly investigated the 18-year-old for three months before executing a search warrant at his residence. Police claim to have seized packaged marijuana weighing more than 2.5 pounds.

In many cases involving marijuana, an individual is accused of a disorderly persons offense, which applies when the marijuana in question weighs less than 50 grams. In New Jersey, disorderly persons offenses are like other states’ misdemeanors. The penalties upon conviction are not as heavy as the penalties for a felony, but a disorderly persons charge can still lead to jail time and a criminal record.

In this particular case, the young man is facing a felony distribution charge because of the amount of marijuana. Even if your intention wasn’t to distribute or sell, you can still be charged with distribution if police say you were in possession of a certain amount.

You can face additional charges, as this man does, if you are accused of possessing drugs near a school.

Many people accused of drug crimes have no prior criminal record and would never imagine hurting anyone. Still, a drug conviction can have long-term consequences, and defendants should be aware of their right to challenge the legitimacy of the prosecution’s claims.

Source: Press of Atlantic City, “Egg Harbor Township man arrested with almost 3 pounds of marijuana,” Steve Hughes, April 10, 2014