Have you been arrested for possession of marijuana in Toms River, Jackson, Brick, Seaside, Lacey or any other Ocean County town? Here’s what you need to know.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Marijuana Possession?
Good question. Assuming that this is your first offense and the amount that was found on you was less than 50 grams, then you are exposed to up to 6 months in jail and up to $1000 in fines. However, you are in better shape than you think.
New Jersey law allows for people in this situation an opportunity to complete a Conditional Discharge. For a fee ($800, give or take), you can avoid a plea of guilty and subsequent conviction and enter the Conditional Discharge program.
Once in the program, you are responsible for staying out of trouble and providing a clean urine when called to come in to the proper facility and provide a sample. Should you pick up new charges or provide a positive urine sample, then your original case will reopen and you are facing a marijuana conviction without the benefit of a diversionary program.
Furthermore, a Conditional Discharge is your “one bite at the apple” so to speak. Should you be charged with any criminal offense in the future after having exhausted a CD, then you will be unable to qualify for a future diversionary program.
Once the Conditional Discharge is successfully completed, the case is dismissed against you.
While a CD is a great tool, it should not necessarily be your first option. Sometimes it is better to fight a marijuana possession charge on factual or legal grounds. These can include an unlawful traffic stop, unlawful search and seizure, or as a result of an interrogation by the police designed to elicit and incriminating response without a proper Miranda warning.
The decision to hire a lawyer, fight your marijuana charge, or enter the Conditional Discharge program is up to you. McGuckin Law is here to answer any questions. Call us anytime at 732.924.4200