The New Jersey statute that relates to possession of a “controlled dangerous substance” in a motor vehicle is N.J.S. 39:4-49.1. More often than not, the substance in question is marijuana. And, more often than not, the vehicle is a car, although buses, trucks, and motorcycles equally qualify. This law does not apply when the person obtained the substance or drug from, or on a valid written prescription of, a medical practitioner licensed to write prescriptions.

New Jersey's possession of cds in a motor vehicle statute is violated only when the car is being driven. Having marijuana in a car that is parked is not sufficient to violate this statute. Under certain circumstances, however, the prosecutor could argue that marijuana found in a parked car was also there earlier when the car was being driven. Factors that the judge could consider, were that to become an issue, would be the area in which the car was parked; observations the arresting officer made before approaching the car; where, in the car, the marajuana or other contraband was found; and statements persons in the car may have made.

For the possession of cds in a motor vehicle statute to be violated, the car must be driven on a highway in New Jersey. “Highway” includes any street, avenue, drive, or other road publicly maintained and open to the public. The statute applies only to drivers. For that reason, passengers charged with this offense will normally be able to obtain a dismissal. Also, to obtain a conviction, the State must prove that the driver knew that the marijuana was in the car. When, unbeknownst to the driver, a passenger has the marijuana, both should be able to obtain dismissals of the charge. The driver should obtain the dismissal because he did not know that the marijuana was in the car, and the passenger should obtain the dismissal because he was not driving. However, the New Jersey law does not require proof that anyone was smoking marijuana in the car. Indeed, the State is not required to prove that anyone ever smoked it or even intended to smoke it.

New Jersey's penalty for possession of cds in a motor vehicle is a fine of $50.00 or more, and suspension of driver's license for two years. Unlike marijuana possession charges where no car is involved, the statute does not afford the judge the discretion to waive the license suspension, even where the suspension will cause severe hardship.

Charges for possession of cds in a motor vehicle are usually issued at the same time as charges for possessing the marijuana itself. These are separate and distinct charges. They have different “elements” that the prosecutor is required to prove. Thus when both charges are filed, a trial can result in the conviction for both, acquittal for both, or conviction for one and not the other. Persons charged with possession of cds in a motor vehicle should call a lawyer immediately.

Allan Marain and Norman Epting, Jr. NJ Marijuana Lawyer and NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer NJ Law Offices of Allan Marainare New Jersey marijuana lawyers. Their combined experience exceeds sixty-five years. Their practice during that entire period has focused on representing persons charged with criminal and traffic offenses. They have successfully defended numerous persons charged with possession of cds in a motor vehicle. They can help.

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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

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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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