Hackensack NJ Juvenile Marijuana Distribution Lawyer
Marijuana Charges Defense Attorney in Bergen County and New Jersey
Although New Jersey has legalized medical marijuana for the treatment of certain accepted conditions, marijuana can only be obtained from state-licensed dispensaries with a valid prescription from a licensed medical professional. If you have legally obtained marijuana and share it with someone else, or if you are accused of manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, you can face serious charges and life-altering consequences. However the trajectories for a juvenile versus an adult facing marijuana distribution charges in New Jersey can differ significantly. In either case, it is critical to have an experienced attorney who can walk you through every phase of the legal process and vigorously defend your innocence.
Alissa Hascup is a highly experienced criminal defense attorney who represents minors, college students, and other young adults charged with marijuana distribution and other drug crimes in New Jersey. Using her extensive knowledge and experience, Ms. Hascup has achieved countless successes on behalf of young people in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Morris County, and throughout the state. She regularly represents college students from universities like Fairleigh Dickinson, Montclair State, Seton Hall, and Rutgers, as well as high school students and other young adults. Ms. Hascup is a former Assistant County Prosecutor, who prosecuted marijuana distribution cases involving over 350 pounds of marijuana. Now, she leverages this invaluable insight to develop the most effective defenses for her clients, positioning them for the best possible outcomes. In fact, she was recently named among the Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers in America, by the National Trial Lawyers Association. To discuss your case with Ms. Hascup and learn more about how she can help you, contact her offices at 862-257-1200 for a free consultation.
Marijuana Distribution in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
Under New Jersey law, it is illegal to manufacture, dispense, distribute, or possess marijuana with intent to distribute. These offenses, codified in section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, are graded based on the amount (specifically, the measured weight) of marijuana involved in the alleged offense. The particular cut-offs for each level of charge are as follows:
- 25 pounds or more of marijuana: first degree crime
- Between 5 pounds and 25 pounds: second degree crime
- Between 1 ounce and 5 pounds: third degree crime
- Up to 1 ounce: fourth degree crime
Juvenile Marijuana Distribution Charges in New Jersey
If you are a juvenile charged with marijuana distribution in New Jersey, your case will likely be adjudicated in the Family Division of the Superior Court in your county of residence. Thus, if you are accused of committing a crime in Newark (Essex County), but you live in Paterson (Passaic County), your case will be heard and decided in the Passaic County Superior Court, Family Division. At this proceeding, you are required to have an attorney representing you. Finding an experienced defense lawyer can truly be the best decision you make when facing the serious consequences associated with distributing marijuana or possessing marijuana with intent to distribute in New Jersey.
In order for a minor to be charged and convicted of a criminal offense, he or she must be “adjudicated delinquent.” If you are adjudicated delinquent of marijuana distribution, a single juvenile judge will determine your sentence, which may differ significantly from that of an adult. In juvenile court, the legal standard is “the best interests of the child,” so judges consider the nature and circumstances of the offense; your age, previous record, and social services received; your unique needs; and the likelihood that you will respond well to rehabilitative measures, before imposing a sentence. It can be extremely valuable to have a lawyer advocating for the most favorable result before sentencing.
For juveniles in New Jersey, a fourth degree crime has a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders. For those who have been adjudicated delinquent for a previous offense, they face up to 1 year in juvenile detention. A third degree crime may result in up to 2 years of detention; a second degree crime is punishable by up to 3 years of detention; and a first degree crime entails up to 4 years in a detention center. It is important to note that during juvenile sentencing, there are a variety of alternatives to incarceration that are available to juvenile offenders, including: releasing the minor to his or her parent’s custody, probation, community service, work or educational programs, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, restitution payments, and/or loss of your driver’s license for a period.
Marijuana Distribution Charges for NJ College Students and Young Adults
If you are a legal adult (18 or older) charged with marijuana distribution or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in New Jersey, you will be required to appear in the local Municipal Court associated with the municipality where the charges were issued. In other words, if you were charged with marijuana distribution at Rutgers in New Brunswick, you will be required to appear in Middlesex County Superior Court. As mentioned above, distribution of marijuana charges vary based on the amount of marijuana involved.
The potential penalties for marijuana distribution are as follows:
- First degree marijuana distribution or possession with intent to distribute: 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $300,000
- Second degree marijuana distribution or possession with intent to distribute: 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000
- Third degree marijuana distribution or possession with intent to distribute: 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison and a maximum fine of $25,000
- Fourth degree marijuana distribution or possession with intent to distribute: up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $10,000
Contact a Newark NJ Juvenile Marijuana Charges Attorney
If you are a juvenile, college student, or other young adult charged with distribution of marijuana in New Jersey, you need to arm yourself with the information and experience of a skilled defense attorney. Contact The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup to discuss your case and receive a free consultation. With offices conveniently located in Hackensack, Little Falls, Camden, and Morristown, Ms Hascup regularly appears in courts from Middlesex County to Hudson County. Simply call 862-257-1200 today.