Juvenile Arrested for Marijuana in Morris County?

Child was arrested for marijuana Morristown lawyers near meMany of the same laws apply in full force to juveniles just as they do to adults in New Jersey. However, juveniles are often treated differently with more minor offenses, and some drug crimes will fall under this more lenient treatment. One of the most common drug crimes involving minors in New Jersey relates to simple marijuana possession, also known as possession of under 50 grams of marijuana. Below are just a few things that you should know as a minor or a parent if your child is charged with this type of offense.

1. Possession of Less Than 50 Grams of Marijuana is a Disorderly Persons Offense

If anyone is charged with simple possession of marijuana, this is a criminal misdemeanor, called a disorderly persons offense. The maximum amount of time in jail is six months, and you can face up to $1,000 in fines. If possession is over 50 grams, however, it is considered an indictable crime. In either type of charge, your driver’s license may be suspended for six months. Juveniles, however, face a different kind of penalty after a marijuana possession charge.

2. Sentences for Juvenile Marijuana Possession Charges are Flexible

If you get a possession charge as an adult, you may only have a couple of choices when it comes to a potential sentence. Most of those include jail time and fines, unless you have no prior criminal record, in which case you may be eligible for Conditional Discharge (explained below). As a minor, however, your sentence may involve things like probation, community service, drug rehabilitation, mental health counseling, or restitution. Suspension of driving privileges is also likely.

3. Your Child May Qualify for a Deferred Disposition

Individuals charged with marijuana possession who are first-time offenders are often eligible for a divisionary program called Conditional Discharge. This type of program allows them to stay out of jail and avoid a criminal record by completing a period of probation, during which they may have to submit to random drug testing. A deferred disposition in a juvenile case works very similar to having conditional discharge as an adult. Essentially, the minor can fulfill the requirements imposed by the juvenile judge and keep their juvenile record clean.

4. Paraphernalia Can Also Trigger a Weed Possession Charge in New Jersey

If a minor has a pipe that has marijuana residue, even if they do not have any marijuana on them, the minor can still be charged with possession of pot. The same can be said if an officer finds a joint nearby, even if it has already been mostly smoked. Essentially, any amount of a drug found in drug paraphernalia can lead to drug possession charges under New Jersey law.

5. Having Drug Paraphernalia is a Separate Charge

A minor might also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to possession. That type of charge is also a disorderly persons offense. Even things like jars, pipes, rolling papers, bongs, scales, and electronic cigarettes could all be considered drug paraphernalia in some circumstances.

6. Marijuana Possession Charges for Juveniles Are Heard in Family Court

If you are under the age of 18, your possession charge will be heard in Family Court of the Superior Court in the county where you reside. It does not matter that you were charged in a different county—you must return to the county where you live to be charged as a juvenile. However, if you are over 18, then you will be prosecuted in Municipal Court where the incident occurred. If you or your child is a Morris County resident, your juvenile marijuana case will be heard in the Morris County Superior Court Family Division in Morristown, NJ.

7. You Might Have More Defenses Available Than You Realize

When police find marijuana, it is often the result of a search. However, there are only certain conditions that searches are permitted. If the search was invalid and they found marijuana as a result of the invalid or illegal search, then the evidence that it existed at all could be thrown out. Even questioning and telling someone about their rights must be done in a specific way. Any of these factors could create a defense to a juvenile marijuana possession charge.

8. Juveniles Will Still Face Drug Charges if Marijuana is Legalized in NJ

Although the question of whether marijuana will be legalized in New Jersey is still up in the air, one thing is certain: juveniles will still be charged with criminal offenses for marijuana possession if it is legalized. Minors and parents should keep this in mind regardless of what happens with any new marijuana laws in the coming months.

If you or your child has been charged with marijuana possession, get help formulating the best defense from our Morris County marijuana possession lawyers. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us today for a free consultation.

Falsely Accused of Drug Distribution in Morris County NJ

FDU Student Charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute

Morristown NJ Marijuana Lawyer
Drug Distribution Charges Morris County NJ

The Morris County criminal defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm LLC recently represented a client who was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute arising on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University located in Florham Park, New Jersey. His charges were as follows:

  • Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in a quantity more than one (1) oz. but under five (5) lbs, a crime of the third degree, in violation of N.J.S. 2c:35-5(b)(11)
  • Possession of marijuana more than fifty (50) grams, a crime of the fourth degree, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10(a)(3)
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, a disorderly persons offense, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:36-2
  • Possession of a fake ID, a crime of the fourth degree, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:21-2.1(d)

The third degree crime is the most serious offense which is punishable by 3-5 years in prison. The fourth degree crimes are each punishable by up to eighteen (18) months in prison and the disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to six (6) months in the Morris County Jail.

Our client is a college student at FDU with no prior criminal history. He was living in a dorm room and his roommate had these illegal drugs in their bathroom of the dorm suite when it was raided by the police. First, we were able to convince the Morris County Prosecutor’s office to downgrade the felony charges to misdemeanors (disorderly persons offenses) and remand them back to the Florham Park Municipal Court for resolution.

Then, when we appeared in Florham Park Municipal Court, we were able to convince the municipal prosecutor that the roommate was responsible for the contraband and not our client. We plead guilty to a municipal ordinance violation (also known as a local ordinance) for the possession of the Fake ID which resulted in a fine and no criminal record.

Drug Charge Attorneys Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park NJ

This was a great result for our client and the Tormey Law Firm LLC. If you or a loved one needs assistance with a criminal charge at Fairleigh Dickinson University (known as “FDU”) or anywhere in Florham Park or Morris County NJ, contact our Morristown offices now for immediate assistance at 908-336-5008. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.

Is New Jersey Headed toward Legal Marijuana?

The war over marijuana rages on in New Jersey, with politicians and lawmakers taking up sides. Officials in Jersey City are on the pro-decriminalization side of the argument, which is manifested in their actions of late. Mayor Steve Fulop and Chief Prosecutor of Jersey City, Jacob Hudnut, recently sent out correspondence to Jersey City’s criminal prosecution team. The memo set out plans for a much more lenient policy related to marijuana charges, with the ultimate goal of decriminalization. This new Jersey City plan directed the city’s prosecutors to address specific marijuana-related crimes very differently. It directed assistant prosecutors to downgrade these charges to non-criminal, local ordinance offenses:

  • Marijuana possession
  • Possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle
  • Under the Influence of marijuana
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Loitering to get or distribute marijuana

This new directive also states that if you are arrested on a marijuana charge in Jersey City, then your case may be dismissed under certain conditions. One of those conditions is that you do not have any prior convictions. In addition, under Jersey City’s new policy, every marijuana-related case relative to a simple violation of a local ordinance, which does not leave you with a criminal record.

Mayor Fulop, and Chief Prosecutor Jacob Hudnut believe that prosecuting marijuana-related cases has a disproportionate impact on minorities and is a drain on Jersey City’s municipal resources. There are several benefits for the city that come from declining to pursue these cases.

However, New Jersey’s Attorney General almost immediately responded to Jersey City’s plan by saying that it could not be legally effective based on the current legal landscape. Attorney General Grewal argued that city prosecutors should adhere to the supervisory power of the attorney general’s office as well as the office of the county prosecutor. He states that the city cannot independently decriminalize marijuana without support from other governmental entities, including the county and the state.

In addition, Grewal argued that city prosecutors can only alter pre-existing complaints, including by amending or dismissing them, for “good cause” based on the Rules of Court. He states that this policy will not hold up in court because marijuana is still illegal in the State of New Jersey. Exercising prosecutorial discretion will generally not be considered “good cause” under these circumstances.

It is anticipated that in September, Attorney General Grewal will release his directive as it pertains to the use of prosecutorial discretion in marijuana-related cases in the municipal courts. In addition, New Jersey lawmakers are expected to vote on a piece of legislation that would legalize marijuana in the coming months. Although lawmakers are making strides toward decriminalizing marijuana use, nothing is certain yet.

Keep in mind, in New Jersey it is still a crime to possess, grow, and sell marijuana, as well as being in possession of drug paraphernalia. If you are arrested on a marijuana-related charge, you should immediately retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Travis Tormey and the defense team at The Tormey Law Firm are prepared to be strong advocates for your rights. Contact our Morristown office at 908-336-5008 or contact us online for a free consultation.

For additional information pertaining to this issue, access the following resource:

Prominent New Jersey Democrats Unite to Decriminalize Marijuana

Heroin Possession Lawyer in Morris County NJThe Morris County Prosecutor’s Office plans to participate in drug epidemic programs being held in Randolph and Florham Park this week.

The objective of the programs is to raise awareness of the heroin and prescription drug epidemic that has caused thousands of deaths and destroyed countless lives in NJ and throughout the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has indicated that there were more than 64,000 fatal heroin and opioid overdoses in the US last year. In NJ, there were more than 1,900 fatal drug overdoses in 2016.

The Randolph Police Department and the Florham Park Police Department will be holding separate forums this week to highlight the drug epidemic in Morris County and to answer questions from local residents and community members about how to deal with drug addiction.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will be involved in the programs.

For more information, go to the NJ.com article, “Prosecutors Office to Take Part in Heroin, Opioid Programs in Randolph, Florham Park.”

Hanover Heroin Distribution SuspectA Hillside, New Jersey man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after admitted that he sold drugs that led to a man’s death in Hanover, NJ.

The suspect is a 35-year-old who lived in Hillside in Union County, NJ. Before the suspect moved to Hillside, he lived in Irvington in Essex County, New Jersey.

According to law enforcement officials, the suspect sold illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine, to a 31-year-old Hanover man. The victim later used the drugs at a local motel and fatally overdosed.

Police investigated the death and eventually determined that the suspect had sold the drugs to the victim. The suspect was subsequently arrested and charged with numerous crimes, including first degree strict liability for a drug induced death, conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), heroin distribution, and cocaine distribution.

The suspect ultimately avoided trial in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ by reaching a plea agreement with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and pleading guilty to the strict liability homicide charges.

Now the suspect has been formally sentenced to eight years in New Jersey State Prison.

For more information about this case, see the NJ.com article, “Man Gets 8 Years Over Fatal Overdose in Hanover.”

Morristown NJ Heroin Possession LawyersA man serving time at the Morris County Jail in Morristown was allegedly caught with prescription drugs and heroin inside his cell.

The suspect is a 30-year-old man who previously resided in the Towaco area of Montville in Morris County, NJ. He is currently behind bars at the Morris County Correctional Facility.

When corrections officers at the jail searched the suspect’s cell, they reportedly came across 16 folds of heroin and six Suboxone tablets. According to authorities, the suspect hid the drugs in a footlocker.

The suspect was in the jail for previously failing to meet the requirements of a probationary sentence imposed for an earlier drug offense charge. The suspect was allowed to enter Drug Court and initially avoid jail.

The suspect has been charged with possession of heroin and illegal possession of Suboxone in connection with the reported discovery of the drugs in his cell.

To learn more about this case, read the DailyRecord.com article, “Morris Jail Inmate Caught with 16 Heroin Folds in Cell.”

Jefferson NJ Drug Crime AttorneysPolice in Jefferson Township NJ are investigating a Paterson man for possibly selling heroin to someone who later died due to an overdose.

The suspect is a 28-year-old man from Paterson, New Jersey. According to Morris County prosecutors, telephone records indicate that the suspect may have sold heroin to the victim shortly before the victim died.

The suspect has not been charged in connection with the Jefferson NJ heroin overdose death. However, he is currently the subject of an investigation and could potentially face charges for strict liability homicide for a drug-induced death and heroin distribution. Since strict liability homicide is a first degree crime, the penalties for a conviction would be severe.

The suspect has already been charged with possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

While Morris County authorities investigate the fatal heroin overdose in Jefferson Township, the suspect is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown, New Jersey.

For further information about this case, see the DailyRecord.com article, “Drug Probe Under Way into Jefferson Man’s Fatal Overdose.”

Drug Rehab at Morris County JailThere will soon be a new unit at the Morris County Jail in Morristown, New Jersey. According to authorities, the new unit will provide drug and alcohol recovery services for inmates with addiction problems.

The new unit is being called the “Hope Wing.” Morris County officials decided to open the Hope Wing in order to combat the sharp rise of prescription opioid overdoses in Morris County and everywhere else in NJ.

James Gannon, the Morris County sheriff, said that prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that “has reached an alarming level in Morris County.” Statistics show that 62 people in Morris County have already suffered fatal prescription opioid overdoses in 2017. This represents a staggering 68-percent increase over the total number of fatal opioid overdoses in Morris County around the same time in 2016.

The hope of law enforcement is that the new recovery wing at the Morris County Correctional Facility will give prisoners a chance to get better and avoid relapses when they reenter society. Among the services provides in the Hope Wing will be anger management classes, counseling for drug abuse, and counseling for alcohol abuse.

To learn more, check out the NJ.com article, “Alarming Level of Opioid Use Spurs Jail to Open Recovery Unit.”

Morris Plains Criminal Defense AttorneysSparta New Jersey police recently arrested a Morris Plains NJ woman accused of possessing illegal drugs.

The suspect is a 34-year-old woman from Morris Plains, NJ. According to law enforcement officials, the suspect was causing a disturbance at a home on West Mountain Road in Morris Plains, New Jersey.

The Sparta Police Department got a 911 call about the disturbance around 6:45 p.m. and sent cops to the scene. When Sparta NJ police officers arrived at the residence, they learned that the suspect had already left.

Sparta cops canvassed the surrounding area and quickly located the suspect. Police officers ran a computer check and reportedly discovered that the suspect had multiple outstanding warrants for her arrest.

During a subsequent search of the suspect, Sparta police officers allegedly discovered heroin, crack cocaine, crack pipes, Alprazolam pills, hypodermic needles, and a gravity knife.

The suspect was arrested and charged with several drug offenses, including possession of heroin, possession of crack cocaine, illegal prescription drug possession, possession of hypodermic needles, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The suspect also faces criminal weapons charges for possession of a prohibited weapon.

For additional information about this case, access the DailyRecord.com article, “Morris Plains Woman Charged with Possession of Heroin, Crack, Pills.”

Dover NJ Drug Crime LawyersA Dover NJ man was recently sentenced to nine years in state prison for distributing cocaine from his home.

The suspect is a 41-year-old male resident of Dover, New Jersey. However, he will be residing in NJ State Prison for the next few years.

The suspect was placed under arrest in summer 2016 after law enforcement reportedly found him manufacturing and distributing crack cocaine in Dover, NJ.

According to authorities, the suspect was selling crack cocaine out of his residence on Parker Street in Dover, New Jersey.

The Dover Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit and Narcotics Task Force investigated the suspect and eventually placed him under arrest. He was subsequently charged with a number of drug crimes, including possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The suspect ultimately avoided trial in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown by reaching a plea deal with Morris County prosecutors.

Now the suspect has been officially sentenced to a term of incarceration of nine years in New Jersey State Prison. He will not become eligible for release on parole until after serving a minimum of 50 months behind bars.

At the time of the suspect’s arrest in Dover last year, he was reportedly participating in the Morris County Drug Court program.

For more information about this case, see the DailyRecord.com article, “Dover Man Gets Nine Years’ Prison for Crack Cocaine Business.”