While New Jersey may be on its way to Marijuana Legalization, possession and use of marijuana still remains illegal (absent a medical marijuana prescription). Commonly, New Jersey Law Enforcement arrest and issue summons complaints to individuals in possession of less than 50g of marijuana. These instances typically involve possession of a joint, blunt, dime bag, eigth or any other measurable amount. Moreover, the police may also charge you with possession of drug paraphernalia. While these two charges are treated as disorderly persons offenses, they still require a mandatory court appearance at the Manchester Municipal Court. Possession of paraphernalia and Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana both carry up to 6 months in the Ocean County Jail and a $1,000 fine. Depending on your prior criminal record, you may be eligible for a diversionary program known as a Conditional Discharge. If you satisfy the court’s requirements, you may be able to have your charges dismissed entirely. For more information on your marijuana possession charges in Manchester Township, NJ, please read below or contact our law office at 848-238-2100.
Can Police Search My Car if They Smell Marijuana?
For clients who have been stopped for a traffic violation, police often ask for request to search your vehicle. If you deny their request, they may threaten to tow your vehicle and have it impounded. While this behavior may not raise to the level of coercion, it is often enough to convince a young adult to grant consent to search the car. This typically leads to an arrest for drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia. Whatever situation you are facing, it is incumbent on you to be aware of your rights in relation to police searches. Providing the police with “blanket consent” to search your car may seem like the best idea, but it can often hurt your more than help you. Do not fall for police attempts to persuade you for an admission because it will “help you in the long run.” You must understand that a police investigation will not help you, it will only incriminate you.
Drug Paraphernalia in Manchester Township NJ
Police will try to justify almost anything as marijuana paraphernalia. You may have an empty bag with just stems in it and police may still charge you criminally. Other items that constitute marijuana paraphernalia include, but are not limited to, joint papers, “bowls”, pipes, bongs, one-hitters, dime baggies, scales, and jars. Any item that is used in connection with the drugs can be treated as paraphernalia. For this reason, ziplock bags are often treated by police as indicators that the suspect is a drug dealer. This can be far from the truth in many instances.
What Happens if the Police Illegally Search My Car?
As mentioned above, police often attempt to use coercive tactics to obtain your consent to search your vehicle. Police do not want the headache of obtaining a search warrant and impounding your car. Instead they would rather do a quick roadside search of your vehicle to avoid the extra paperwork. When this happens, the lines of constitutionality become blurred and experienced criminal defense attorneys may find grounds to obtain a suppression of the evidence recovered. Contact an attorney to find out if the search conducted on you was legal.
NJ Marijuana Possession Charges
If you have been charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, then your future may be at risk. Not only are you facing a criminal record but you are also subject to incarceration, fines, probation and mandatory suspension of your Driver’s License (if the drugs were found in your car). If you have been charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia or CDS in a Motor Vehicle, contact the Ocean County Attorneys at Proetta & Oliver by calling 848-238-2100. Call today and schedule a one-on-one meeting with an attorney at our offices.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.