One of the most common disorderly persons offenses heard in Ventnor Municipal Court is possession of marijuana less than 50 grams. However, while it may be a common offense, it can have a long-lasting impact on your life.
If your son or daughter has been charged with possession of marijuana in New Jersey, we encourage you to call our law offices at (609) 616-4956 to start discussing your family’s legal options in a free, completely confidential legal consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys have more than 45 years of combined experience handling marijuana charges on behalf of adults and juveniles in Atlantic County, Cape May County, and Ocean County. Se habla español.
Ventnor, New Jersey Criminal Penalties for Simple Possession of Marijuana
The New Jersey statute that addresses possession of marijuana and other dangerous substances is found at N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, and as it pertains to marijuana can be broken down to simple possession and possession with the intent to distribute. Under the simple possession statute, 2C:35-10(a)(4) This law provides that it is “unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance…[and that] (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.” Anyone who is arrested, charged, and convicted of possessing 50 grams or less of marijuana can be punished through fines and assessments of up to $1,000, jail for up to 6 months, probation for up to a year depending on if you qualify for any diversionary programs.
Additionally, the municipal judge in Ventnor may choose to impose other sanctions such as suspending your driver’s license, as well as imposing community service.
Why a Gram Makes a Difference?
As noted above, there are two subsections of the statutory code that apply to marijuana dividing charges into simple possession, and possession with the intent to distribute. The difference in these charges can be as little as one gram. Simple possession is charged when a person has 50 grams or less of marijuana, and possession with the intent to distribute can be charged when a person has 50 grams or more, with more serious charges following the increased weight. While a gram may be a tiny amount, the difference in the consequences for facing a possession with the intent to distribute charge are vastly more severe.
Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana is an indictable offense in New Jersey, which is equivalent to a felony in other states. While a simple possession charge can be punished with a fine of up to $1,000 a charge for 50 grams or more can result in a fine of up to $25,000 in some cases. And while a person convicted of simple possession can face 6 months in jail, a defendant who is convicted of possession with the intent to distribute can be sentenced to 18 months in jail.
When the difference in thousands of dollars in fines and charges and the potential of spending over a year rests on a single gram difference, it is important to work with an experienced attorney.
Charged with Possession of Marijuana in Ventnor? Call One of Our Atlantic City Drug Possession Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been charged with marijuana possession in Atlantic City or the surrounding area, it’s critically important to take immediate legal action. Call the defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 right away for a free and confidential consultation. You or your loved one may be able to avoid jail and a criminal record through one of the programs discussed in this guide. Our line is always open for your call, including nights, weekends, and holidays.