Belmar Drug Arrest Lawyer
If you are facing a Belmar drug charge, help is available. While the penalties for being convicted of a drug offense are severe, defenses exist. Each kind of different drug charge in Belmar carries the possibility of jail time, probation, fines and a mandatory driver’s license suspension. An experienced defense lawyer can give you the best chance to avoid these consequences.
New Jersey law distinguishes between disorderly persons offenses and indictable drug offenses. For indictable drug charges, the law calls for prison time depending on the specific charge and the defendant’s record. If you have been charged with a drug offense in Belmar, call to speak with a Monmouth County drug charge lawyer.
By far, most drug arrests in Belmar are for simple possession of marijuana. In the summer months, a lot of arrests are made near the beach for marijuana possession. Other drug arrest, including those for cocaine, oxycontin and other pills are also common in Belmar. While most drug arrests in Belmar are of adults, there are also several juvenile drug charges filed each month.
Belmar Drug Charges
Belmar is a relatively small town in eastern Monmouth County. The town boasts a long stretch of beach that is very popular with both locals and out of town visitors. In the summer, the town’s population swells with tourists. Police step up enforcement in these months as the town sees a huge uptick in crime. Belmar has a reputation as a party town in the summer. The crowd is usually on the younger side. Belmar police are put under a lot of pressure by residents to keep things under control.
A lot of marijuana arrests in Belmar result after traffic stops. The smell of marijuana is easily recognizable to police officers. If officers smell marijuana after pulling you over, they will almost certainly attempt to search the vehicle. Common tactics to search your vehicle include asking for consent or finding some kind of emergency. This emergency is known in criminal law as an “exigent” circumstance.
Whether a marijuana charge is a felony (indictable) charge or a misdemeanor (disorderly persons offense) hinges on the amount that was possessed and if their was an intent to distribute. For example, Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana in New Jersey is a disorderly persons offense. Violating this law is contrary to NJSA 2C:35-10(a)4.
If you are caught with less than 50 grams of marijuana, your case will be heard in the Belmar Municipal Court. The judge in the Belmar court is the Honorable Dennis Lavender, J.M.C. The prosecutor is Stephen Schueler, Esq. However, if you are also charged with indictable offenses, your case will be sent to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
After being sent to the prosecutor’s office, the intake unit will decide whether the office will keep the case or remand it to the Belmar Municipal Court. If your case is remanded, the prosecutor’s office will downgrade the indictable charges to disorderly persons offenses and send the case back to the municipal court for adjudication.
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Belmar, call me for an analysis of your case. I appear in both Belmar Municipal Court and the Monmouth County Superior Court.