I was arrested last night in NJ for possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Both are DP. Less than 50 grams. I'm 37. I do have a prior conviction about 12 years ago for a CDS but completed the NJ drug court program and have been out of trouble since then. I work 40 minutes from home where there is no public transportation and I assist in taking care of my mother who suffers from muscular dystrophy. I'm also the only person who drives in the house. I also have part time custody of my daughter who lives with me on the weekends who lives an hour away that I'm responsible for child support, medical insurance, and picking up and dropping her off each weekend. What are the chances that I'm going to see any jail time for this? and also what are the chances of me loosing my license? I could care less about having a record. I don't want to lose my career for not being able to get to it, nor do I want to lose it because then I cannot provide child support and most of all, I'm the only one who can drive in my household. This just happened so obviously my mind has been spinning in circles ever since. Can't sleep, can't eat, the anxiety is killing me to the point I'm calling a shrink I think. I'm just looking to find out what "typically" happens in a situation like mine.
**other notes, yes it happened in a motor vehicle but the police did not tow my car, I cooperated and they fingerprinted me and brought me back to my car, officer said come to court and he'll do what he can to help. I wasn't an ass to him and he wasn't one to me (well yeah he could have let me go, but he also could have hit me with several more severe charges like operating the vehicle with a cds which he did not.) Please some advice, or your experience opinion as to what I'm looking at. I'm obviously going to need a lawyer for this. I saw many in NJ who seem to focus on marijuana cases... Thank you for your feedback in advance.
3 Answers from Attorneys
You will probably NOT get a jail sentence. You probably can avoid losing your driver's license if
the right presentation is made to the judge. Call me if you like.
First and foremost. Take a deep breath, or a shot and calm down. This charge is not the end of the world. Although the penalties for the offense do have the potential for incarceration, if you only have one prior offense from 12 years ago it is highly unlikely a municipal court judge would give you any jail time. Futhermore, a judge has descretion under N.J.S.A. 2C 35:16 (a) not to suspend driving privleges if it: "will result in extreme hardship and alternative means of transportation are not available"
Hire an experienced municipal court attorney, not necessarily one from the dozens of letters you will get in the mail and you should be fine. Relax, get some sleep and take it one step at a time.
Since you are not eligible for a conditional discharge which would result in the dismissal of the charges, you are now facing the full penalties of the two different charges. The likelihood of jail is unknown, but if it has been over ten years since you were last invlolved with the criminal justice system then I would say it is fairly low. The loss of your driver's license is mandatory, however. The law says that you must lose your license for six months to two years if you are convicted of a drug or drug related (paraphernalia) crime. However, there is a way to possibly avoid losing your license even with a conviction although it is at the judge's discretion. I have handled a large number of cases similar to yours in the past. Please contact me for a free consultation. Thank you.
Sincerely yours, -Ronald Aronds, Esq.-
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