possession of marijuana NJ lawyer, paraphernalia too

New Jersey defines marijuana to be a “controlled dangerous substance,” or “cds.” Other New Jersey statutes define distributing a cds to be a crime. New Jersey's penalties for distributing are much more severe than its penalties for mere possession. Further, the penalties for merely possessing marijuana with intent to distribute are identical to New Jersey's penalties for the actual distribution. We discuss those penalties on our distribution page, elsewhere on this site.

As just suggested, in order to be exposed to these severe penalties for distributing marijuana, it is not necessary to have actually distributed it. Intent to distribute satisfies the requirements of the statute. Yet, intent is a state of mind. It cannot be seen. And, although law enforcement officers often claim to possess powers that they actually lack, few, if any, claim to be able to read minds. So, short of a defendant announcing his intent to distribute marijuana, how can the prosecutor ever obtain the proofs that he needs in order to obtain a conviction?

The answer to that question is that persons can be convicted of intent to do something, in this case, distribute marijuana, by what is called “circumstantial evidence.” Circumstantial evidence consists of one or more facts from which another fact may be inferred.

Many judges explain circumstantial evidence to jurors by asking them to consider the example of whether it snowed during the night. The judges offer these facts: A witness testifies that just before going to bed one night, she looked out the window. The ground was clear and dry. She awoke the next morning and looked out the window again. The sun was shining. Yet, now, the ground was covered with snow. She never actually saw snow falling during the night. Yet, from the absence of snow when she went to bed to presence of snow on the ground when she awoke, you may legitimately infer from her testimony (if you believe her) that snow did fall during the night. That is, you are relying upon circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence is to be distinguished from “direct evidence.” By way of contrast, direct evidence would be testimony from the witness that she actually saw snow falling during the night.

New Jersey prosecutors similarly rely upon circumstantial evidence to try to persuade jurors that the marijuana that was possessed was possessed with intent to distribute. Examples of such circumstantial evidence abound:

  • What quantity of marijuana is at issue? Was the quantity a small amount consistent with what one might use for individual consumption? Or was it a quantity large enough to make consumption by a single individual unlikely?
     
  • Did the defendant also possess other objects typically associated with distribution? Examples of such objects would be scales, plastic baggies, or other containers;
     
  • Were there conversations in which the defendant actually indicated his intent to distribute?
     
  • Did the defendant possess large amounts of cash?
     
  • Did the defendant possess ledger sheets, books of account, or other writings indicative of past or future distribution.
     

Prosecutors sometimes rely upon testimony of expert witnesses to give their interpretations of the circumstantial evidence to the jury. But skilled lawyers can often rebut those interpretations. One way of rebutting those interpretations is to attack the credibility of the person offering the facts upon which the expert witness is relying. We offer elsewhere transcript of a trial in which Marijuana Lawyers in New Jersey™ did this. (The substance involved in that trial was heroin, not marijuana.) Another way to rebut testimony of expert witnesses is to offer alternative explanations, consistent with innocence, for the circumstantial evidence.

Allan Marain and Norman Epting, Jr. are New Jersey marijuana lawyers. Each has great familiarity with the rules of evidence by which circumstantial evidence can be successfully challenged. Each has successfully defended numerous New Jersey defendants charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Each would welcome the opportunity to review the circumstances of your arrest, in a no-charge no-obligation conference. Call them!



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“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

--The Declaration of Independence


“Chris Christie is a disgrace not just to NJ and the USA, but to humanity as a whole. His refusal to acknowledge the majority in this country of cannabis supporters is appalling. He is literally the cancer killing our country and we need to bury this sack of garbage in a landfill FAR FAR away from politics.”

--Jason Mueller, June 30, 2015,
Responding on Yahoo! to Chris Christie announcement
that he is seeking to be President of the United States

Law Offices of Allan Marain
Attorneys and Counsellors at Law Lawyer handles marijuana charged in New Brunswick Rutgers arrests and paraphernalia charges
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New Brunswick NJ 08903
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Reefer, pot, weed, grass, Mary Jane, cannabis, ganja, dope, marijuana, marihuana: Call it what you will, spell it as you please, we will defend marijuana charges against you with the benefit of approximately seventy years combined experience handling marijuana and marijuana-related arrests. Centrally located in Middlesex County, New Jersey marijuana lawyers Marain and Epting also handle marijuana arrests and charges arising in Bergen, Burlington, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties. Their cases have included marijuana arrests at the Sports Complex, and at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel. Other frequent hot spots for marijuana arrests handled include Seabright, and Seaside Heights. Rutgers University arrests in New Brunswick and Piscataway number among the frequent fliers. Towns that we cover include Asbury Park, Bedminster, Belleville in Essex County, Bergenfield, Berkeley Heights, Bernards Township, Bernardsville in Union county, Bogota, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Brick in Monmouth County, Bridgewater, Clifton, Clinton in Hunterdon County, Closter, Cranbury, Cranford, Cresskill in Bergen County, Deal, Demarest, Denville, Dover in Morris County, Dumont, Dunellen, East Brunswick in Middlesex County, East Rutherford, East Windsor, Edison in Middlesex County, Elizabeth, Emerson, Englewood, Englishtown in Monmouth County, Ewing, Fair Lawn, Franklin Township, Freehold, Garfield, Garwood, Hackensack, Highland Park in Middlesex County, Hillsborough, Hillsdale, Hillside in Union County, Jersey City, Kearny, Kenilworth in Union County, Lakewood, Lawrence Township, Mahwah in Bergen County, Manville, Marlboro, Matawan, Metuchen, Middlesex Borough in Middlesex County, Monroe, Mountainside, New Brunswick, North Brunswick in Middlesex County, Nutley, Old Bridge, Paramus, Parsippany, Paterson, Perth Amboy in Middlesex County, Piscataway, Plainfield, Plainsboro, Point Pleasant, Princeton in Mercen County, Rahway, Raritan, Readington, Red Bank in Monmouth County, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, Robbinsville in Mercer County, Rockaway, Rocky Hill, Roselle, Roselle Park, Rutherford in Bergen County, Sayreville, Scotch Plains, Seabright, Seaside Heights in Ocean County, Seaside Park, Secaucus, Shrewsbury, Somerville, South Amboy in Middlesex County, South Bound Brook, South Brunswick, South Orange, South Plainfield, South River, Sparta, Spotswood in Middlesex County, Summit, Teaneck, Tenafly, Toms River, Trenton, Union, Wall, Warren, Washington, Watchung, West Windsor, Westfield in Union County, Woodbridge, and other communities in Bergen County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County. Arrested elsewhere? Call anyway. We can suggest experienced marijuana lawyers in other New Jersey counties, and even in states other than New Jersey.

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