Wayne is a highly populated township in Passaic County that is home to over 54,000 residents. Wayne also attracts tons of visitors who frequent shops and restaurants in Willowbrook Mall and Wayne Towne Center, hike and recreate in High Mountain Park Preserve, as well as students and guests of William Paterson University. Spanning over 25 square miles, Wayne provides many amenities within its borders, while it also provides easy access to New York City. With so much activity and so many people in Wayne, officers from the Wayne Police Department and New Jersey State Police regularly patrol Wayne, conducting traffic stops and arresting people for criminal and DWI offenses. In fact, charges for possession of marijuana under 50 grams are among the most common issued in Wayne and many times, these drug charges force people to deal with the criminal justice system for the first time.
Under New Jersey law, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, often referred to as “simple possession of marijuana,” is what is known as a disorderly persons offense. This is a low-level criminal offense that is similar to a misdemeanor and is handled at the Municipal Court in the town where the marijuana arrest occurred. In other words, if you are charged with marijuana possession at William Paterson University or elsewhere in Wayne, your case will be heard in Wayne Municipal Court. If you are convicted of possessing marijuana in New Jersey, even the slightest amount of the drug can lead to serious penalties. Specifically, a conviction for possession of marijuana is punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, a 6-month driver’s license suspension, and other court fees and assessments. It will also result in a charge on your criminal record that can hinder your future opportunities for employment and education. Alissa Hascup is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience defending clients charged with marijuana possession in Wayne and Passaic County. In fact, she uses her experience as a former Municipal Prosecutor to craft the most effective defense strategies and position her clients for success.
Possession of Marijuana in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4)
It is currently illegal in New Jersey to possess any amount of marijuana unless it is for an accepted medical use and obtained at a state-approved dispensary with a prescription from a licensed physician. If you are found in possession of marijuana under 50 grams, the statute that addresses these charges can be found in section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4) of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which states:
“It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.). Any person who violates this section with respect to possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish, is a disorderly person.”
As mentioned above, possession of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense. As such, if you are arrested and ultimately convicted of possession of marijuana under 50 grams in Wayne, New Jersey, you may be sentenced to:
- Jail: up to 6 months in the Passaic County Jail
- Fines: maximum fine of $1,000
- Driver’s license suspension: 6 months
- Community service
- Other fees and assessments: $750 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction (DEDR) penalty and $50 laboratory fee
You will also be left with a conviction on your criminal record that can only be removed through the process of expungement after 5 years.
Arrested for Possession of Marijuana in Wayne, New Jersey?
If you are charged with possession of marijuana in Wayne or elsewhere in Passaic County, you have multiple options to resolve your case. First and foremost, an experienced marijuana defense attorney can investigate the specific circumstances to identify any potential violations of your rights that may lead to a dismissal. You may also be eligible for a diversionary program known as conditional discharge which will lead to the dismissal of the charges upon successful completion. To learn more about the ways you may be able to have your marijuana charges dismissed in Wayne, contact The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup today at 862-257-1200 for a free consultation.