Toms River THC Lawyers Defending those Facing Criminal Charges for Marijuana Compounds in Ocean County, New Jersey
The term THC is widely used in New Jersey when referring to marijuana-related products and criminal offenses, but common questions remain among many New Jersey citizens and visitors of this state, including: What is THC? What are common charges associated with THC? What are the penalties for possessing THC? Here is a review of THC and related drug offenses in New Jersey. If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense involving THC or marijuana compounds, our criminal defense attorneys can help in Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Manchester, Lacey Township, and throughout Ocean County, NJ. Call (848) 238-2100 to discuss your case and explore potential defense options in a free consultation.
What is THC?
According to the Federal Drug Administration, Cannabis is a plant that contains 80 biologically active chemical compounds. THC is the most well-known and commonly found chemicals among the 80 compounds of the cannabis plant. This compound is scientifically known as 9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is a chemical in marijuana that has psychoactive effects on those who ingest it. It can be smoked via vape pen or electronic cigarette, joint, bowl, or bong or it can be baked into foods like cookies, brownies, butters or gummies. Once eaten or smoked, the marijuana/THC enters the bloodstream. The oxygenated blood is carried together with the THC throughout the body, including the brain. The brain reacts by producing feelings of euphoria, hunger, happiness, increased laughter or relaxation. For some, the reaction may be less euphoric and more debilitating, in the sense that it increases anxiety, paranoia, or overall undesirable sensations.
Not all THC products are derived from the Cannabis plant and are instead synthetic (man-made) chemicals containing properties of THC. The term THC refers to the chemical that is found in any THC related product and is identified through scientific laboratory testing of the substance in question. So, when we speak of THC it can refer to organic marijuana, as well as man-made products such as K-2, spice, or herbal incense.
Because of the psychoactive properties and potential for abuse, the government has banned THC. While New Jersey has talked about decriminalizing marijuana/THC, it remains illegal to use, possess, or sell without a prescription. If caught with THC, you face jail, identification as a criminal, and stiff financial penalties. This is true whether the THC is plant-based or man-made.
THC Offenses in New Jersey
Possession of THC is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey. At the lowest level, possession of THC/marijuana is a disorderly persons offense (less than 50 grams) for which you can be sentenced to 6 months in jail, $1,000 in fines, probation, and a criminal record. But something as minor as having THC oil, butter, or a vape pen with THC oil contained in it, may result in a criminal felony charges, regardless of the amount.
The law, known as N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.3(c) Obtaining, Possessing Synthetic Cannabinoid, directs the police to charge you with a fourth degree crime if you possess any amount under one ounce. A conviction for such a crime allows for state prison to be imposed for as much as 18 months. You may also be fined up to $10,000, be forced to pay a $750 drug penalty, and be on probation for 5 years. These are seemingly excessive penalties for smoking or possessing a little THC in a vape pen. Unfortunately, the law allows for these punishments in New Jersey.
In fact, the penalties become elevated if you possess a larger amount of THC. Possessing more than one ounce allows for a third degree criminal complaint to be filed against you. The penalties for a third degree crime are even worse, in that you can be sentenced to prison for 3-5 years and have to pay thousands in financial penalties. Nevertheless, there is a presumption of non-incarceration for those first-time offenders charged with third and fourth degree crimes in New Jersey.
On the other hand, you can be charged with even more significant criminal offenses for THC, requiring a state prison sentence if convicted. This occurs when you possess larger quantities of THC products with intent to distribute. A complaint in the first and second degree will be filed for higher amounts involving distribution. For example, possessing between 5 and 25 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute or dispense is a crime of the second degree, for which you face prison for 5-10 years. Even worse, if you distribute more than 25 pounds, you can be convicted of a first degree crime and go to jail for the next 10-20 years.
There are many related offenses that you can be charged with if the product that you allegedly possessed or distributed contains THC. For example, companion charges for drug paraphernalia are not uncommon in these cases. And for distribution or intent to distribute charges, you may face additional repercussions if the arrest occurred in a school zone. The charges and proofs needed to sustain convictions are complicated and your specific criminal case involving THC should be adequately addressed by an experienced attorney.
Point Pleasant THC Defense Attorney can Assist You
Proetta & Oliver defends clients charged with THC in Jackson, Ocean Township, Lavallette, Berkeley Township, Stafford, Long Beach Township, and surrounding towns in the Jersey Shore area. Through our representation, you can worry less and leave the legal details to us. Our Ocean County criminal defense lawyers will painstakingly review your case to uncover mistakes on the part of law enforcement or defense options that may be available for charges filed against you. For a free consultation about your case, contact us at (848) 238-2100 today.
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.