Hackensack NJ Juvenile Marijuana Possession Lawyer
Marijuana Charges Defense Attorney in Bergen County and New Jersey
Opinions about marijuana are highly divided in the United States, with some states choosing to legalize marijuana entirely, others accepting it as legal for medical use on certain conditions, and still others refusing to legalize marijuana for any reason. However, use of marijuana among young people persists and approximately 4.6% of college students used marijuana daily in 2015, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In New Jersey, if you do not adhere to the strict regulations regarding medical marijuana, which include having a valid prescription from a licensed medical professional and retrieving the drug from a state-licensed dispensary, you can be charged criminally with possession of marijuana. If you are a juvenile facing marijuana possession charges in New Jersey, your case will be heard in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county in which you live. On the other hand, if you are 18 or older, you will be prosecuted as an adult at the Municipal Court in the municipality in which your charges were filed. In addition to the difference in venue, the potential penalties to which you are exposed vary greatly if you are a juvenile versus an adult. However, in either case, being found guilty can lead to immediate punishments and spell long-term implications for your future.
Alissa Hascup is an award-winning criminal defense attorney who represents juveniles, students, and other young adults charged with marijuana possession and other drug crimes throughout New Jersey. From Bergen County to Union County, and Middlesex County to Passaic County, she regularly represents college students from universities like Rutgers, Kean, Seton Hall, and William Paterson, as well as high school students and other young adults. During her career, Ms. Hascup has held positions as a Municipal Prosecutor and Assistant County Prosecutor, where she prosecuted high-profile cases, such as distribution of over 350 pounds of marijuana. Now, her experience on the other side of the criminal justice system provides her with a significant tactical advantage as she aggressively defends clients in courts across the state. In fact, she was recently named among the 10 Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in New Jersey, by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. To discuss your case with Ms. Hascup today, contact her offices at 862-257-1200 for a cost-free initial consultation.
Juvenile Marijuana Possession Charges in New Jersey
If you are a juvenile charged with possession of marijuana in New Jersey, your case will likely be adjudicated in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county where you currently live. In other words, if you are accused of committing a crime in Bergen County, but you live in Essex County, you will appear before a Family Court judge in the Essex County Superior Court. At this proceeding, you are required to have an attorney who will represent you. Your attorney can work to secure the best possible outcome.
If you are found guilty of marijuana possession, you are technically “adjudicated delinquent,” which is similar to a criminal conviction for an adult. However, your sentence may be very different from that of an adult defendant convicted of the same crime. In juvenile court, the legal standard is “the best interests of the child.” This means that the judge will consider a variety of factors before determining the appropriate sentence. During juvenile sentencing, judges evaluate factors including: 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. It can be extremely valuable to have an attorney representing your best interests before sentencing.
Potential sentences in juvenile cases include: probation, community service, mental health counseling, detention (incarceration), drug rehabilitation treatment, suspension of driving privileges, or restitution. Notably, if you are adjudicated delinquent for possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of school property, your sentence must include 100 hours of mandatory community service.
Marijuana Possession Charges for College Students and Young Adults in NJ
If you are 18 or older and charged with possession of marijuana in New Jersey, you will be required to appear in the local Municipal Court where you were charged. In other words, if you were charged with possession of marijuana at Montclair State University, you will be required to appear in Montclair, Little Falls, or Clifton Municipal Court, depending on your exact location when the alleged offense occurred. Possession of marijuana under 50 grams is classified as a disorderly persons offense, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4).
If you are convicted of marijuana possession, you may face the following penalties:
- A sentence to serve up to 6 months in the county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- A 6-month driver’s license suspension
- A conviction on your criminal record
Contact a Paramus NJ Juvenile Marijuana Possession Attorney
If you are a juvenile, college student, or other young adult charged with marijuana possession in New Jersey, you need a dedicated defense attorney on your side. 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, we successfully defend clients in courts across the state. Simply call 862-257-1200 today.