So you’ve been busted smoking some pot, and charged with the “sister” offenses of Possession of Marijuana 2C:35-10A(4) and Drug Paraphernalia 2C:36-2 ? The good news is that both of these charges are misdemeanors in NJ, although NJ does not use the term “misdemeanor” but rather “disorderly persons offense.” Feel free to call me at 908-782-5313 for a free case analysis and consultation about your case.
I call these two charges (possession and paraphernalia) the “sister offenses” or the “two P’s” because almost every marijuana case I’ve ever handled contains these 2 separate charges, each of which carries its own fines and penalties. Unless you’re one of those rare pot smokers who use a hand bong , the odds are that your pipe, rolling papers, or hollowed-out blunt will result in the Drug Paraphernalia 2C:36-2 charge being added to the possession charge.
First of all, if you truly have a medical need for marijuana, I recommend you seek advice from a doctor experienced in this area. I have referred several clients to Dr. Anzalone and heard good things about his practice. There is no need to risk future New Jersey criminal charges if you need marijuana as medicine.
The key to an effective defense of a charge of 2C:35-10A(4) (Possession of Marijuana) is to retain an attorney as early in the process as possible. A skilled attorney will send a demand for all discovery to the Municipal Prosecutor, which requests lab reports on the alleged marijuana. This usually results in a substantial delay in your case, as the NJ Drug Testing labs in Little Falls and Trenton are both severely backlogged. The backlog is so severe of late that I had a marijuana case in Flemington Boro dismissed last month as the State took too long to obtain the lab reports. Remember, the burden of proof is on the State to prove that the substance is actually marijuana- it is not your job to prove that it isn’t!
Another key defense to the charge is whether probable cause existed for the search of your person or car. This can be a complex issue that an experienced New Jersey marijuana defense attorney can analyze and advocate on your behalf. A “Motion to Suppress Evidence” is filed and argued in Court, and if granted the marijuana cannot be entered into evidence and the case will usually them be dismissed altogether.
The “NJ Conditional Discharge” is another option for cases where a valid defense simply does not exist. Under the conditional discharge program, you are sentenced to non-custodial probation for a period of 6 to 18 months, and if you successfully complete probation, the charge will be dismissed and you will not have a criminal conviction. Every case is different, so…..
Call me today at 908-782-5313 to discuss your Municipal Court case. Our legal fees are fair and reasonable, and we accept all major credit cards.
I represent many clients in the municipal courts of Flemington Municipal Court, Clinton Twp Municpal Court., Lambertville Municipal Court, Rartian Township Municipal Court, High Bridge Municipal Court, Readington Township Municipal Court, Delaware Valley Municipal Court, Bridgewater Municipal Court, and other Hunterdon, Somerset, and Warren County courts for charges of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia.