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New Jersey Marijuana Defense Attorney

Getting arrested for a marijuana charge in New Jersey – like any other drug crime – can carry serious direct and collateral consequences. If convicted, you could face jail, fines, loss of your driver’s license and other criminal penalties. You may also miss out on job and educational opportunities with weed charges on your record.

Do not let these potential consequences scare or overwhelm you. Take control of your defense today. Contact The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC. We will get to work on your case right away and:

  • Examine and identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
  • Develop an effective defense strategy
  • Aggressively pursue the best possible outcome for you.

Anthony J. Vecchio has prosecuted and defended thousands of marijuana and other criminal cases throughout New Jersey, working with both adult and juvenile clients. He has been rated 10/10 by Avvo and listed as a Super Lawyers® Rising Star® every year since 2012. He is ready to personally handle your case and put his skill, knowledge and experience to work for you.

VIEW CHART ON ALL NJ MARIJUANA CRIMES AND PENALTIES

What New Jersey Marijuana Charge Are You Facing?

We will carefully go over all of the details in your case and craft a defense strategy that works best for you. This strategy will largely depend on the marijuana charge you are facing.

New Jersey classifies marijuana/weed/pot/cannabis as a “controlled dangerous substance,” or CDS. The charge you are facing will depend on factors such as:

Possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute
Alleged weight of the pot or hashish involved in your case
New Jersey weed charges
Whether you are accused of possessing, selling or growing cannabis or hashish
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Where the alleged marijuana crime occurred (such as near a school)
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Whether you are charged with selling the drug to a minor or pregnant woman
Arrested for Marijuana in New Jersey? Call Anthony J. Vecchio
Alleged use of drug paraphernalia.

How Can a New Jersey Weed Charges Lawyer Help You?

Whether you are charged with a marijuana-related offense as an adult or juvenile, you have rights that must be protected. For instance, you have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. You also have the right to receive discovery of the prosecution’s evidence. Above all, you have the right to be presumed innocent unless the prosecutor proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Attorney Anthony J. Vecchio will ensure those rights are protected.

When we take on your marijuana case, you can count on us to:

  • Gather and examine the prosecution’s evidence – We will make sure the prosecutor complies with New Jersey’s discovery laws and hands over all evidence in your case. We can examine this evidence and identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
  • Move to exclude evidence – Our review of the prosecution’s case may reveal a basis for getting the evidence in your case excluded. Examples include:
    • Evidence obtained in an unlawful stop and search – You cannot be stopped and searched unless a police officer has probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in criminal activity. We can move to exclude any evidence obtained as the result of an illegal stop and/or search.
    • Problems with chain of custody – From the moment any pot, hash, pipes, papers or other items are allegedly seized by the police, there must be documentation showing how it was handled and stored. If the prosecution can’t establish a proper “chain of custody,” this evidence can be thrown out.
    • Issues with the cannabis lab report – The prosecution must prove that the substance in your case was, in fact, marijuana or hashish and prove the weight. This is done through a lab report. If the lab tech who prepared the report cannot testify, the prosecution must follow a special procedure that includes giving your lawyer a copy of a lab certificate. If the prosecution fails to follow this procedure, the report can be excluded. In some cases, the report may be thrown out because the lab tech failed to follow proper testing procedures.

    If certain evidence is excluded, it could lead to a dismissal of the pot possession, distribution or cultivation charge against you.

  • Pursue a conditional discharge or pretrial intervention – If you are a first-time offender and have never received a conditional discharge or participated in pretrial intervention (PTI), these options may be available to you. The court will basically suspend any further action against you and place you on a supervision program such as probation and/or a substance abuse treatment program. If you complete all requirements, the charge against you can be dismissed, and no conviction will appear on your record. We can help you to carefully assess these options and decide if either one is ideal for you.
  • Seek a plea agreement – Anthony J. Vecchio knows how prosecutors work. He can meet with the prosecutor in your case to determine whether a fair and reasonable plea agreement can be reached that minimizes the consequences for you. For example, pleading to a lesser offense may result in avoiding jail time and a lower fine. In some cases, charges may be dropped. Ultimately, the decision to enter a plea will be yours.
  • Put on a vigorous defense in court – If your case goes to trial, we will aggressively challenge the prosecution’s case. For instance, an issue in your case may be whether you were truly “in possession” of the marijuana, hashish or paraphernalia. This issue often arises if the drug was found in car or home that you share with others.

Our law firm has extensive experience with representing minors accused with marijuana crimes. Please see our Juvenile Defense section for more information on the services we can provide if your son or daughter was arrested for a pot-related offense. We can also assist with any school disciplinary procedures that your son or daughter is facing.

Does New Jersey’s Medical Cannabis Law Affect Your Case?

You can qualify to participate in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program if you suffer from one of 11 medical conditions and receive approval from a doctor who is registered in the program. (See N.J.S. 24: 6I). The doctor can approve you to receive up to two ounces of marijuana per month. It must be obtained from one of six alternative treatment centers.

Even if you are properly registered in the medical marijuana program, you must still comply with New Jersey laws on selling and growing pot. You also cannot possess more weed than you are approved to receive or smoke pot in public places. It is a crime of the fourth degree, or a felony, if you present a fake medical marijuana registration card to a police officer. (See N.J.S. 24: 61-9).

Additionally, possession of marijuana in any amount remains a federal offense. If you are convicted, you could face prison time and hefty fines.

The bottom line: If you are arrested for a marijuana offense, we can help you to assert your participation in the medical marijuana program as a defense – but only if you were acting in compliance with that program. Otherwise, we will need to consider other strategies for you.

Arrested for Marijuana in New Jersey? We Will Protect Your Rights

When working with clients who have been charged with marijuana offenses in New Jersey, attorney Anthony J. Vecchio takes a “big picture” approach.

He will look at all facets of your case – the evidence, your legal options and the consequences you face if convicted – and devise a defense strategy that will be squarely aimed at protecting your rights and finding the best possible outcome to your case.

We serve clients in Freehold, Mt. Laurel, Woodbridge, Red Bank, Jersey City, Princeton and throughout New Jersey. Take control of your defense. Contact us today.

NEW JERSEY MARIJUANA CRIMES AND PENALTIES

POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA N.J.S.A. 2C:21-7.4 and 2C:35-10

50 grams or less

This is disorderly persons offense

Maximum sentenc of six months. Maximum fine of $1,000.

See N.J.S.A. 2C:21-7.4 and 2C:35-10
More than 50 grams

This is a crime of the fourth degree, or a felony

Maximum sentence of 18 months. Maximum fine of $25,000.

See N.J.S 2C:35-10

DISTRIBUTION/POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE MARIJUANA N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

Less than 1 ounce

Crime of the fourth degree

Maximum sentence of 18 months. Maximum fine of $25,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
1 ounce to less than 5 pounds

Crime of the third degree

Minimum sentence of three years, maximum sentence of five years. Maximum fine of $25,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
5 ounce to less than 25 pounds

Crime of the second degree

Minimum sentence of five years, maximum sentence of 10 years. Maximum fine of $150,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
25 pounds or more

Crime of the first degree

Minimum sentence of 10 years, maximum sentence of 20 years. Maximum fine of $300,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Within 1,000 feet of school property

Crime of the third degree

Minimum sentence of three years, maximum sentence of five years. Maximum fine of $150,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7
Note:The prison term and fine doubles if the distribution involves a minor or pregnant woman.

CULTIVATION OF POT N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

1 ounce to less than 5 pounds(10 plants)

Crime of the third degree

Minimum sentence of three years, maximum of five years. Maximum fine of $25,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
5 ounce to less than 25 pounds(less than 50 plants)

Crime of the second degree

Minimum sentence of five years, maximum of 10 years. Maximum fine of $150,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
More than 25 pounds(50 plants or more)

Crime of the first degree

Minimum sentence of 10 years, maximum of 20 years. Maximum fine of $300,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

HASH AND CONCENTRATES N.J.S.A. 2C:21-7.4 AND N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10

Possession(5 grams or less)

Disorderly persons offense

Maximum sentence of six months. Maximum fine of $1,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:21-7.4
Possession(more than 5 grams)

Crime of the fourth degree

Maximum sentence of 18 months. Maximum fine of $25,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10
Manufacturing/Distributing/ Dispensing(less than 5 grams)

Crime of the fourth degree

Maximum sentence of 18 months. Maximum fine of $10,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Manufacturing/Distributing/ Dispensing(5 grams to less than 1 pound)

Crime of the third degree

Minimum sentence of three years. Maximum of five years. Maximum fine of $25,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Manufacturing/Distributing/ Dispensing(1 pound to less than 5 pounds)

Crime of the second degree

Minimum sentence of five years. Maximum of 10 years. Maximum fine of $150,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Manufacturing/Distributing/ Dispensing(5 pounds or more)

Crime of the first degree

Minimum sentence of 10 years. Maximum of 20 years. Maximum fine of $300,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Within 1,000 feet of school property

Crime of the third degree

Minimum sentence of three years. Maximum of five years. Maximum fine of $150,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7

WEED PARAPHERNALIA N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 THROUGH N.J.S.A. 2C:36-5

Possession/Use

This is a disorderly persons offense

Maximum sentence of six months. Maximum fine of $1,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2
Sale/Advertising

Sale or advertising, generally, is a crime of the fourth degree

Maximum sentence of 18 months. Maximum fine of $10,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:36-3 and 2C:36-4
S

If the sale is to a minor, it is a crime of the third degree

Minimum sentence of three years, maximum of five years. Maximum fine of $25,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:36-5

OTHER MARIJUANA LAWS/PENALTIES

Failure to make lawful disposition In other words, failure to turn over marijuana or hashish to a police office.

This is a disorderly persons offense

Maximum sentence of six months. Maximum fine of $1,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10
Being under the influence of marijuana or hashish

Disorderly persons offense

Maximum sentence of six months. Maximum fine of $1,000

See N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10

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