Although there has been a trend towards the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana that has swept across the country, the simple possession of marijuana remains illegal both in the state of New Jersey and at the federal level. This also remains true for the possession of other drugs.
Simple drug possession is often associated with the possession of small amounts of a controlled substance. Typically, these small amounts are for personal use and there can be no inferred intent to sell or distribute based on the minimal amount. The resulting drug charge is often considered to be a minor infraction. For example, in New Jersey, individuals may be charged with simple drug possession when they are found to be in possession with less than 50 grams of marijuana, which is a disorderly person’s offense. However, the possession of 50 or more grams of marijuana is a much more serious offense and can lead to high fines and arrests.
New Jersey Drug Crimes Attorney
Although simple possession may in many cases be considered a minor offense, pleading guilty to a simple drug possession charge may have a lasting impact. Individuals who plead guilty to drug charges face a lasting criminal record that may impact their ability to obtain a job, pursue a certain career, and receive financial assistance, among other things.
Seeking the advice and assistance of a New Jersey drug crimes attorney is advantageous for those individuals charged with simple drug possession. A skilled and knowledgeable drug crimes attorney can, among other things, help negotiate a reduced charge or perhaps alternative sentencing that avoids a drug conviction on your criminal record. More importantly, an attorney can work with you to ensure your rights are not violated and, if they are, the attorney can help ensure that the violations of your rights do not have an unjust impact on the outcome of your case.
Defense for Simple Drug Possession
Being arrested for possession of a drug does not mean that you cannot defeat the drug charge against you. Like with any case, a prosecutor must prove the elements of the charge in order for you to be found guilty. Typically, a prosecutor must prove that the individual charged 1) knew that they were in possession of the substance and 2) that the individual knew or reasonably should have known that the substance was unlawful. Failing to prove each element of the claim means that a prosecutor cannot convict you of the crime and, therefore, a common defense is to challenge one or more elements of the offense.
An individual charged with simple drug possession has at their disposal additional legal defenses even if the prosecutor has proven the elements of a drug charge. For example, most charges for simple drug possession occur in connection with the police searching the home, car, or person of the accused. If that search occurred in violation of the individual’s 4th Amendment rights, it is possible that the evidence of the drugs found would not be admissible. In addition to unlawful searches, police may ultimately violate an individual’s rights with regards to questioning and interrogation. As with searches, police officers must follow strict rules when questioning a suspect. Failing to preserve an individual’s rights during questioning can result in the inadmissibility of certain evidence including confessions.
Impact of Drug Offenses
As mentioned earlier, convictions for drug offenses, even simple possession, can have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to obtain or hold a job, obtain financial aid, and stay in school. For example, many universities have codes of conduct that include language regarding drug use and possession. Even a simple drug conviction may cause problems for a student’s standing with a university or may cause them to lose a scholarship. Likewise, a conviction for a simple drug offense may create problems for an individual at their current or future job. Many employers have anti-drug policies. Simple possession charges could result in an employee being terminated or a potential employee not being hired. Because a drug possession conviction goes on your permanent record, the impact of a drug case can follow you for a long period of time.
Contact an Experienced NJ Drug Possession Defense Attorney at the Maduabum Law Firm, LLC
The knowledgeable and experienced attorneys of the Maduabum Law Firm, LLC regularly help individuals charged with simple drug possession. Our team of attorneys will keenly advocate on your behalf, ensure your rights have not been violated, and work to obtain for you a favorable resolution in your case. Contact our office today at 973-732-1490 for a consultation.