On August 29, 2018, the Attorney General of New Jersey released a Memorandum of Guidance regarding the prosecution of marijuana offenses in municipal court. This Memorandum states that municipal prosecutors may not adopt a policy categorically dismissing marijuana charges.
However, a municipal prosecutor may exercise his or her discretion in each case. For example, a municipal prosecutor may dismiss a charge if the State lacks sufficient evidence.
In addition, a municipal prosecutor may consider several factors in determining how to proceed. Some of these factors are: 1) the age of the defendant; 2) the prior criminal record of the defendant; 3) adverse consequences for employment or military service; 4) immigration consequences; 5) educational consequences; 6) consequences for housing or other government benefits; 7) consequences for your family, such as parenting status or burdens for family members.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that the Attorney General’s Memorandum means that marijuana charges in New Jersey are no longer potentially serious. Municipal prosecutors may still go forward with your case and you could face serious consequences such as a loss of driving privileges and a conviction appearing on your background check. Hiring an experienced defense attorney to represent you in court can increase the likelihood of a satisfactory result for you.
As an attorney who has handled many marijuana offenses in New Jersey, Jason T. Komninos, Esq. will be able to review your case for possible defenses or missing discovery from the State. In addition, Mr. Komninos can help you build your case according any of the applicable factors mentioned above to argue against a loss of driving privileges or other serious consequences.
If you are facing a marijuana charge in New Jersey, please call Jason T. Komninos, Esq. at 201-343-4622 for a free consultation.