Arrested on Marijuana Charges in New Jersey?
Our Lawyers Can Help
With nearly 20 years of trial experience on behalf of people facing charges for marijuana possession or other drugs in Ocean and Monmouth counties, the criminal defense lawyers of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. know what it takes to protect you from the most serious consequences of a marijuana conviction. Contact us for a free consultation with an attorney who can help to formulate a plan to best protect your rights, while looking out for how best to protect your future.
Possession of MJ Under 50 Grams
One of the most frequent types of drug related charges we see is possession of under 50 grams of Marijuana. While some New Jersey legislators think that the Garden State could legalize or decriminalize recreational marijuana as soon as 2018, the fact remains that the possession of marijuana is illegal under state and federal law. Although the most serious penalties are reserved for cases involving more than 50 grams (a bit less than two ounces) of marijuana, even possession of a smaller amount can create serious problems for the defendant.
At Villani & DeLuca, we represent local residents and visitors from out of state who need to fight marijuana or drug paraphernalia charges. Our goal is not only to resolve the case at hand, but to resolve it on terms that will not create future complications for our clients. For example, a guilty plea to a first-offense marijuana charge might only result in a light sentence of probation and a driver's license suspension, but it could also cause problems later if you need to obtain a professional license, teaching certificate, a security clearance, or even a federal student loan or educational grant.
Personalized Client Service on New Jersey Marijuana Charges
Our attorneys work closely with each client on a personal basis — that way we soon find out just what long-term interests you need to protect. Then we get to work to resolve your case on the most favorable terms possible under your specific set of facts. In most cases, under 50 grams cases it is addressed in municipal court, where the case can be resolved as a disorderly persons offense rather than more serious drug crimes which are generally indictable and dealt with in Superior Court.
We represent people facing a variety of New Jersey marijuana charges, including:
• Possession of marijuana (50 grams or less) – municipal court, disorderly persons offense
• Possession of marijuana (more than 50 grams) – superior court, 4th degree indictable
• Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as bongs, pipes, or rolling papers with marijuana residue – disorderly persons offense
• Possession of marijuana edibles – disorderly persons offense
• Driving while impaired by marijuana – motor vehicle offense and possible disorderly persons charge
• Possession with intent to distribute marijuana – minimum 4th degree could be higher depending on weight
Many cases involving marijuana can be resolved on favorable terms at an early stage of the case, by filing appropriate motions to suppress evidence or at a later stage challenges to the lab results. In the event there are no defenses to the charge and the client has no prior drug arrests a Conditional discharge leading to eventual dismissal is a frequent option for defendants with less than 50 grams or possession of paraphernalia.
In an indictable cases involving larger quantities of marijuana, or other drugs pretrial intervention is often available for first time offenders. Whenever necessary to protect your interests, however, our trial experience in marijuana cases can represent an important advantage for our client.
We can investigate the facts relating to the full range of potential defenses to your marijuana charge. If you were arrested in a car, we can examine and attack the arresting officer's probable cause to make the traffic stop. We can challenge the prosecution's evidence as to the weight or nature of the substance confiscated at the scene. We might be able to show that our client had no connection to the drugs found in a group of people.
In some cases, we can show that law enforcement mistakes with your interrogation or right to counsel should invalidate the evidence against you. Whatever the weakness in the case against you turns out to be, the trial lawyers of Villani & DeLuca know how to present your strongest defense in court.
New Jersey law can imposes a 6-month driver's license suspension for marijuana convictions outside a motor vehicle and 24 months when found inside vehicle. In many situations, however, a hardship exemption from this punishment can be successfully argued by our lawyers. Our lawyers can explain just what we will need to show and how to properly prepare to for court in order to avoid suspension of your driver's license in a New Jersey marijuana case.
Talk to a New Jersey Marijuana Defense Attorney
We know from experience how our clients can benefit from careful attention to the facts, a thorough knowledge of the law, and our long familiarity with the courts in Monmouth and Ocean counties. To find out how you can benefit from our experience with New Jersey marijuana defense, contact Villani & DeLuca for a free review of your case.