Freehold Borough and Freehold Township Police are very active in investigating Marijuana, drug and drug paraphernalia arrests in the Borough and Township of Freehold. Both Freehold Township and Freehold Borough have their own municipal courts. Before appearing in either of these courts for a marijuana or other drug offense, you should contact a local attorney to discuss your rights and possible defenses.
In New Jersey, both possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia are “disorderly persons” offenses. Disorderly persons offenses are criminal charges, but not “crimes” or felonies under New Jersey law. Both are punishable by up to six months jail and a 1,000 fine. There are other financial penalties the municipal court judge can impose as well.
As if this was not bad enough, the New Jersey Legislature has deemed that these offenses must also carry a mandatory minimum six month license suspension. This applies even if a motor vehicle was not involved in the possession. Perhaps worse of all though is that a criminal conviction can be made part of your record, which can follow you around until you may obtain an expungement.
A large amount of drug arrests in Freehold are made when Freehold police officers make motor vehicle stops for violations such as speeding, tailgating, improper passing, and DWI. After making such a stop, the officer may approach the window of the car and detect the smell of marijuana. This may give the officer probable cause to ask for your consent to search the vehicle. Your consent must be given freely and voluntarily, and the right to refuse should be explained to you as well.
If you refuse to grant the officers consent to search the vehicle, they will have to get a warrant unless there is some kind of emergency to search the car.