For second offense of possession of c.d.s (marijuana) in court. what can happen? how do i make sure i get the minimal penalty.

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For second offense of possession of c.d.s (marijuana) in court. what can happen? how do i make sure i get the minimal penalty.

I was arrested for the first time for burglary of an empty house… i completed p.t.i program..my case was dismissed. i was arrested in april of 08 for simple possession of c.d.s and driving while suspended. i was convicted of this charge on may of 2009. yesterday as i was going to pay a fine in court.. i was searched and had marijuana on me…(like an idiot i went into court with it)..i was arrested for the second possession charge in court..and they gave me paraphernalia and intent to ingest(i had cigar in my pocket as well). i cant afford a lawyer im paying fines for possession already.

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I think you need to apply for a court-appointed lawyer on this one.  Because while there isn't a higher penalty for the second offense, with your history, and having been arrested at the court building, the judge might well decide to make an example of you.

Both the possession and the paraphernalia charges are disorderly persons offenses, with a maximum jail time of 6 months and a $1,000.00.  Depending on the judge, and his or her mood, you might get off with just one 6-month term and the fine, if the judge makes the sentences for the two offenses concurrent (both run at the same time).  But you might be the exception, and have your sentences made consecutive.

You might want to think about getting some help for your drug problem -- and if you can't keep it together enough to clean out your pockets before going to the court clerk's office (which in just about every instance I've seen, is right next door to the police station, and usually in the same building), you do have a problem.  That might be the best thing you can do to avoid the worst-case sentence here, if you can show the judge that you don't need him to give you a wake-up call.


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