New Developments in New Jersey’s Treatment of Marijuana Charges

Camden NJ Marijuana Law AttorneyDiscussions about the potential decriminalization of marijuana in New Jersey have been occurring since July, when New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced a statewide adjournment of all municipal marijuana charges, pending further guidance to prosecutors in the state. After several weeks of waiting, the Attorney General’s guidance has finally been issued.

Emphasizing that prosecutors do not have discretion to unilaterally implement a policy of not prosecuting any municipal marijuana cases, Attorney General Grewal encouraged prosecutors to exercise discretion when they find there is insufficient evidence to prosecute a marijuana charge or when they find the consequences would be too severe.

In his guidance, Grewal made it clear that prosecutors may not effectively decriminalize the use of marijuana in small amounts by refusing to prosecute any cases before the legislator has acted to decriminalize its use.

Whether the New Jersey legislator will actually change the law and legalize the recreational use of marijuana remains to be seen. Grewal explained that he would not suspend all marijuana cases until the legislator acts on this issue, emphasizing the importance of the rule of law, because no deadline for taking action has been set by the legislator.

How will prosecutors decide whether to dismiss a marijuana possession charge?

The Attorney General’s guidance to prosecutors on how to handle municipal charges involving marijuana in New Jersey provided several factors to should consider when evaluating a case including the defendant’s age, prior criminal history, circumstances surrounding the arrest, impact on employment opportunities, ability to join the military or obtain a professional license, potential impact on their immigration status and educational opportunities, negative impact on eligibility for housing subsidies or other financial assistance, and negative impact on family. While this guidance may be helpful, it will ultimately be up to the municipal prosecutor to decide how they weigh and apply these factors when choosing to pursue or dismiss a marijuana possession case.

What is the possible sentence for marijuana possession in New Jersey?

The guidance outlined above applies only to charges for possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana. If you are charged with this offense, the prosecutor will review your case and consider the factors outlined above. If they decide to pursue the charges against you and you are convicted of possessing under 50 grams of pot, a disorderly persons offense, you will face up to 6 months in prison and fines of up to $1,000.

Charges for possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana are not subject to the newly issued guidance or factors to be considered when exercising prosecutorial discretion on marijuana cases in municipal court. If you are convicted of possessing more than 50 grams of marijuana, you may be convicted of a fourth degree indictable offense, carrying potential penalties of up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Can I have a marijuana conviction removed from my record?

If you have been convicted of possession of marijuana in New Jersey, you must wait 5 years before you can apply for an expungement. However, if you participated in a diversionary program like Pre-trial Intervention or conditional discharge, you only need to wait 6 months to apply once your charges have been dismissed.

Marijuana Attorney in Camden, NJ

If you have recently been charged with possession of marijuana in New Jersey, experienced marijuana defense lawyer William C. Fay has what it takes to present your best defense. For years, Mr. Fay has been successfully defending clients charged with marijuana offenses in Camden, Mount Holly, Evesham Township, Bordentown, Cherry Hill, and throughout Burlington and Camden County. Contact our office in Camden County today at 609-832-3202 for a free consultation about your marijuana case.


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"Excellent criminal defense lawyer"

"William handled a matter for me and exceeded my expectations. He was excellent in all areas of the law and achieved an outstanding result. Best of all,he demonstrates honesty and integrity. I would highly recommend William and already have."


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"I was so scared and nervous about my legal situation but Mr. Fay did an outstanding job with my case!!! I was so relieved with the outcome and he worked so hard for me! He was so calm and understanding and I’m so grateful for him. Thank you so very much for helping me! I am so grateful appreciative."


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"All Charges Dropped & Expunged"

"William defended me in my marijuana + paraphernalia case, he had all charges dropped and expunged! Despite the fact I was long past conditional discharges/probation, etc. He has a sharp wit and a bright future ahead of him as an attorney. Thanks again Will!"


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"Fantastic Lawyer"

"Mr. Fay is a fantastic lawyer. He helped me during a very stressful time in my life. He was knowledgeable about my case and what my options were. He answered all my questions and was very reassuring. He was there waiting for me at the entrance on my court date and made me feel at ease. He worked with the prosecutor to reduce my charges. I got the best outcome I could have hoped for. I highly recommend Mr. Fay if you need a lawyer."


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"Marijuana Charges"

"I was arrested and summoned to court for possession of marijuana, even though I didn't have any on me. It was my first time getting in trouble and I was terrified and nervous. Mr. Fay came into court prepared and was extremely assuring. He made it very clear that he was going to fight for my case until the very end. He was extremely knowledgable about my case and the ways to resolve it. I would recommend Mr. Fay to anyone who has gotten into trouble."

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"Excellent lawyer. Highly recommended."

"Mr. Fay is extremely caring and knowledgeable. He took the time to explain the entire process in a very clear manner and was a tremendous help during a stressful time. He was always available to take a phone call and really showed that he cared about me and my case. I highly recommend Mr. Fay as an attorney." "

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"Highly recommend"

"Great lawyer. Created a best possible outcome for my case."

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"Amazing job, explains very clearly"

"He did a fantastic job on my case, making my penalty much less than I thought it could possibly be. He clearly understands what he is doing and can explain everything in a way that anyone can understand. Any questions I had were answered very clearly and he listened to all small details of my case."

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