The debate over the legal status of marijuana continues to rage in the United States, as 4 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use and many others have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana or legalized it for medical use under the guidance of a licensed physician. In New Jersey, the legalization of medical marijuana has been implemented, but there are extremely stringent prescribing and dispensation guidelines mandated under the law. As a result, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it outside of the confines of State Law may result in serious criminal charges, which carry significant prison terms, hefty fines, and other collateral consequences. In fact, even possession of under 50 grams of marijuana is a criminal offense that can create serious issues for you and those you love. In an attempt to deter participation in the underground marijuana market, prosecutors target marijuana offenders and often seek the maximum punishments in these cases. As a result, it is essential to enlist a knowledgeable and proactive legal advocate who can help you to navigate through this tumultuous process.
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our criminal defense team combines the expertise of former county and municipal prosecutors with the experience of seasoned defense attorneys to create the most comprehensive defense strategies for our clients. This formula has served us time and time again, as we secure favorable outcomes for thousands of clients and their families in court rooms across the State. For a free case analysis from a member of our talented defense team, contact our offices anytime. We are available 24/7 to address all of your questions and concerns.
Marijuana Distribution and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Offenses involving the distribution of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which deems it unlawful:
To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog. Any person who violates this section with respect to:
- Marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of 5 pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the First Degree; A fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed.
- Marijuana in a quantity of 5 pounds or more but less than 25 pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or 10 or more but fewer than 50 marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of 1 pound or more but less than 5 pounds, including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the Second Degree.
- Marijuana in a quantity of 1 ounce or more but less than 5 pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of 5 grams or more but less than 1 pound including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the Third Degree; A fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed.
- Marijuana in a quantity of less than 1 ounce including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of less than 5 grams including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the Fourth Degree.
Contact our Green Brook NJ Marijuana Distribution Defense Lawyers
The degree of the charges in your marijuana case are extraordinarily significant when evaluating the avenues that may be available to you as a defendant. For example, first and second degree charges entail a presumption of incarceration, meaning that more likely than not, a conviction will result in a prison sentence. On the other hand, third and fourth degree charges are associated with a presumption of non-incarceration, meaning that a defendant with no prior criminal record may be considered a good candidate for probation or a diversionary program such as Drug Court or Pre-Trial Intervention. These options are viable alternatives to imprisonment and our experienced defense attorneys have secured enrollment for thousands of clients during our combined 100 years practicing law in New Jersey.
The specific penalties associated with marijuana distribution charges of varying degrees are as follows:
- First Degree Marijuana Distribution: a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison
- Second Degree Marijuana Distribution: a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison
- Third Degree Marijuana Distribution: a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison
- Fourth Degree Marijuana Distribution: a maximum term of incarceration of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, the members of our seasoned defense team will collaborate to devise the most effective strategy for successfully resolving your case, whether that means a negotiated plea to a lesser sentence, enrollment in a diversionary program, or achieving a dismissal at trial. Contact our offices anytime for a cost-free initial consultation.