Mendham NJ Client Charged with Marijuana Distribution Secures Admission into PTI Program
I recently represented a client in the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey. My client was charged with distribution of marijuana in the second degree. Because of the seriousness of the charge, he was facing five (5) to ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison, with a presumption of incarceration. This meant that, even though my client had no prior record, it was presumed that, if convicted, he would be sentenced to between five (5) and ten (10) years in state prison.
The facts of the case were as follows: My client was a Master’s student in Philadelphia with no prior criminal record. He had been stopped in his motor vehicle with a female friend while pulling out of the driveway of her parents’ house in Mendham, NJ. The officer allegedly smelled marijuana and asked for consent to search the vehicle (and consent was supposedly given). The search revealed 182 grams (approximately 6.5 ounces) of marijuana. My client also had $308.00 on his person. However, the money was in his wallet, not near the drugs.
This would normally be a third degree distribution charge, but because the incident occurred within 500 feet of a public park, it became a second degree crime. Nonetheless, I was able to successfully convince the Morris County Assistant Prosecutor that my client was not a drug dealer and that the marijuana was for his personal use. I provided transcripts from my client’s Master’s program as well as multiple letters of recommendation regarding his character and prior conduct in school. As a result of my efforts, the prosecutor agreed to allow my client to be admitted into the PTI program for a period of two (2) years. As long as he stays out of trouble during this period and complies with the other conditions of the diversionary program, the charges will be dismissed at the end of the probationary period. In the end, my client will have no criminal record from this incident.