Bergen County Intent to Distribute Marijuana Lawyers
Our Hackensack Criminal Defense Firm Has Successfully Defended Numerous Clients Charged with First, Second, Third, and Fourth Degree Crimes for Marijuana Distribution, Manufacturing, and Possession with Intent to Distribute
Have you been arrested for distribution of marijuana in Bergen County? Since you are searching for information about charges for possession with intent to sell and distributing marijuana, you are probably concerned about the penalties you now face and if there is a qualified marijuana distribution attorney who can help defend you. You are right to be troubled, as New Jersey law enforcement officials have implemented a major crack down on marijuana distribution offenses across the state. Coupled with the increased enforcement efforts, a conviction for marijuana distribution or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in New Jersey can spell serious consequences. The degree of these charges is contingent upon the amount, namely, the measured weight of the substance associated with the alleged offense. However, marijuana distribution charges of any degree are indictable felonies under State law, section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, all of which entail prison time, fines, probation, and the suspension of your driving privileges.
If you or a loved one has been charged with manufacturing or distributing marijuana or another drug-related offense in New Jersey, the attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm in Bergen County can help. We are a team of extremely experienced criminal and drunk driving (DWI) defense lawyers who have represented countless clients facing drug charges, including possession of marijuana, cocaine possession, and prescription drug offenses. With centrally-located offices in Hackensack, just a few short blocks from the Bergen County Justice Complex, we appear in Bergen County courtrooms on a daily basis, including Bergen County Superior Court on behalf of clients arrested in Fort Lee, Teaneck, Garfield, Elmwood Park, Ridgewood, Bergenfield, and Cliffside Park, as we dedicate all of our energies to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients. For a consultation with one of our attorneys free of charge, contact the Hackensack offices of The Tormey Law Firm at (201)-330-4979.
Marijuana Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
New Jersey lawmakers and citizens have been hotly debating the legality of marijuana for years, but the facts remain the same when it comes to marijuana distribution. Since the drug is still classified among those on the Schedules of Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) it is illegal to manufacture, dispense, distribute, or possess marijuana without proper authorization to do so as a state licensed dispensary. If you are found to be engaged in any of these activities without being appropriately licensed, you can expect to be arrested and charged with a drug distribution crime. The main statute that governs marijuana distribution and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute is N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, which provides, in pertinent part:
§ 2C:35-5. Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing
a. Except as authorized by P.L. 1970, c. 226, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:
- 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; or
- To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.
b. Any person who violates subsection a. with respect to:
(10) (a) 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 five pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 300,000.00 may be imposed;
(b) Marijuana in a quantity of five 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 one pound or more but less than five pounds, including any adulterants and dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;
(11) Marijuana in a quantity of one ounce or more but less than five pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of five grams or more but less than one pound including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, a fine of up to $ 25,000.00 may be imposed;
(12) Marijuana in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of less than five grams including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
Analysis of the New Jersey Marijuana Manufacturing, Distributing, Dispensing, & Possessing with Intent to Distribute Law
If you are charged with marijuana distribution or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, the State must not only prove your possession of marijuana, but also possession of marijuana with intent to transfer it to someone else or others, whether for financial gain or not. Possessing marijuana as a key element can apply to cases wherein you had marijuana on your physical person, like in your pocket, or you possessed it on or inside of your property, or property controlled by you. For instance, if you are driving through Paramus and after being stopped for speeding and submitting to a search of your vehicle, police find marijuana in the trunk. Law enforcement may be conducting surveillance on you and your associates in an ongoing narcotics investigate and execute a search warrant at your home, which ultimately leads to seizure of the drugs. This also qualifies as possession for the purposes of the law.
Then there is the manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing, or possessing with intent to distribute component. The forms of evidence that substantiate this necessary element when a person is charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 typically include a large amount of weight (in marijuana), baggies, scales, cash, and sometimes actual sales using undercover operations. With each type of evidence and the process by which it was obtained, there is an option for police mistakes and violations of your rights that may provide defense strategies. This is why you need the best possible attorney you can find to handle your marijuana distribution offense, as they can investigate every aspect of the state’s case to find reasons for defense arguments and potentially the exclusion of evidence. This could incorporate challenges of the initial motor vehicle stop that triggered the case, lack of probable cause for a warrantless search that led to the marijuana being retrieved, insufficient justification for a search warrant or a search that went beyond the scope, and other legal challenges to the prosecution’s case.
Penalties for Distribution of Marijuana in New Jersey
When dealing with marijuana distribution charges, the amount of marijuana involved in the alleged crime is a crucial determinant of the degree of the crime charged. All of these charges are indictable crimes, otherwise known as felony charges. The penalties associated with the varying degree of marijuana distribution offenses include the following:
- Possession with intent to distribute 25 pounds or more of marijuana is a first degree crime. Potential penalties include up to 20 years in state prison and fines of up to $300,000.
- Possession with intent to distribute between 5 pounds and 25 pounds of marijuana is a second degree crime. Potential penalties include up to 10 years in state prison and fines upwards of $150,000.
- Possession with intent to distribute between 1 ounce and 5 pounds of marijuana is a crime of the third degree. Potential penalties include up to 5 years in state prison and fines upwards of $25,000.
- Possession with intent to distribute up to 1 ounce of marijuana is a fourth degree criminal charge. Potential penalties include up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
In addition to the above penalties, a suspension of your driver’s license is required if you are convicted of marijuana distribution. Further, if the distribution was committed in a school zone or near a public park, you may be subject to mandatory prison time and parole ineligibility under New Jersey’s Brimage Guidelines.
Call Bergen County Marijuana Distribution Attorneys at our Hackensack Office Today
With marijuana distribution offenses, it is critical to know all of your available options. For instance, you may be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, the conditional discharge program, or Drug Court. To learn more and have your individual case reviewed by legal counsel, call the experienced Bergen County criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm anytime at (201)-330-4979. Having an office on State Street in downtown Hackensack, our attorneys are happy to meet with you at our local office or, should you choose to retain our firm, we will come meet your loved one who is being held in the Bergen County Jail. We regularly represent clients at detention hearings and defend them every step of the way as the case moves forward. Whether it be in East Rutherford, Lodi, Palisades Interstate Park, Englewood, or another town where you or a loved one was charged with possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, manufacturing, or sale of the drug, our defense firm can help. You can also fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation about your case.