One of the most common varieties of distribution offense that arise in New Jersey involves marijuana. A charge for selling marijuana can come in the form of a first degree crime, second degree crime, third degree crime, or fourth degree crime. All of these offenses are felonies that involve a potential state prison term. There is no misdemeanor that applies when someone is arrested for distributing marijuana. At the Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver we have one of the largest criminal defense teams in the state. We offer exceptional credentials with over 100 years of combined experience and multiple ex prosecutors on staff, including out of Essex County. An attorney in our Newark Office is ready to assist you at 973-710-1520. We have extensive experience representing clients charged with distributing marijuana in towns like Nutley, Livingston, West Orange, Bloomfield, Fairfield, Montclair and Verona.
Bloomfield NJ Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana Attorney
As previously stated, a distribution of marijuana charge comes in four (4) grades under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. Grading is based on the amount of marijuana that the defendant was manufacturing, distributing or possessed with the intent to distribute. The following is a summary of the four (4) grades and related penalties.
• First Degree Marijuana Distribution. An individual may be charged or indicted for a first degree crime of marijuana distribution if the quantity involved is twenty-five (25) pounds or more, or at least fifty (50) plants. A conviction for distributing marijuana in the first degree carries a maximum fine of $300,000 and jail exposure of ten (10) to twenty (20) years.
• Second Degree Marijuana Distribution. It is a second degree crime to possess with the intent to distribute at least five (5) pounds but less than twenty-five (25) pounds, or at least ten (10) plants (but less than 50). Distribution of marijuana in the second degree can result in a fine of $200,000 and a state prison term of five (5) to ten (10) years.
• Third Degree Marijuana Distribution. A quantity of at least one (1) ounce but less than five (5) pounds can result in a charge of distributing marijuana in the third degree. Third degree intent to distribute marijuana triggers a presumptive prison sentence of three (3) to five (5) years and a potential fine of $25,000.
• Fourth Degree Marijuana Distribution. Selling less than one (1) ounce of marijuana is a fourth degree crime that can result in up to eighteen (18) months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Different rules apply to distribution charges involving synthetic cannabis.
Marijuana Distribution Lawyer in Belleville NJ
Distribution of Marijuana Within 1,000 Feet of a School (a.k.a. School Zone Charge)
Whenever someone is convicted of distribution within a school zone, they face enhanced penalties under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 in the form of mandatory periods of parole ineligibility and an increased fine. For a conviction of fourth degree distribution, the parole ineligibility period, that is, the mandatory period of incarceration before the defendant is eligible for parole, is the greater of one-half of the sentenced imposed or one (1) year. The minimum period is increased to three (3) years for all other marijuana distribution in a school zone. A separate fine of up to $150,000 may also be imposed when the intent to distribute is within 1,000 feet of a school/school zone.
Distributing Marijuana Within 500 Feet of a Public Park (a.k.a. Public Park Offense)
If an individual is convicted of distribution and the conduct occurred within 500 feet of a public park or housing project (a.k.a. public park zone), they may be charged with a separate second degree crime in accordance with N.J.S. 2C:35-7.1. The only exception is where the distribution involves fourth degree weight, in which case the violation under 2C:35-7.1 is a third degree crime.
Marijuana Distribution Defense Lawyer Fairfield NJ
If you were arrested for selling marijuana anywhere in Essex County, we are prepared to diligently and effectively defend you against the charge. It may be that you are awaiting indictment and we can establish a dialogue with the prosecutor in hopes of obtaining a remand, downgrade or perhaps even a dismissal. And even if you have already been indicted, we will thoroughly dissect the case to identify any search and seizure, or other issues in the case (e.g. improperly traffic stop, unconstitutional search, etc.). You have rights and deserve the best counsel and assistance you can afford. We believe our Newark Marijuana Distribution Distribution Defense Lawyers can offer an excellent option in this regard. Give us a call at 973-710-1520.