Lakewood Police have make a lot of Marijuana, drug and drug paraphernalia arrests in the Lakewood Township. If you have been charged with a drug offense, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, drug paraphernalia or marijuana possession, you will be scheduled for a first appearance in the Lakewood Municipal Court.
Before you appear for this arraignment for a marijuana or other drug offense, you should contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights and how to best defend against the charges. Lakewood Township is located in northern Ocean County, New Jersey. The Township has faced some challenges lately, with increased gang activity and corresponding drug problems. The Judge in Lakewood is the Honorable Scott Basen, J.M.C. The prosecutors are Valter Must, Esq. Robert Rothstein, Esq., and Michael Burns, Esq.
In the State of 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. Disorderly Persons offenses, or “DP”s are punishable by up to six months jail and a 1,000 fine. The judge must also impose a $500 DEDR penalty and other sanctions or a marijuana conviction.
In addition, the New Jersey Legislature has deemed that these offenses must also carry a mandatory minimum six month license suspension. This is to be imposed even if a car was not involved in the possession. Of course, a criminal conviction can be made part of your record, which can follow you around until you may obtain an expungement.
Most drug arrests in Lakewood take place after police officers conduct 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.