Middleton Juvenile Arrested on CDS Charges in Red Bank
A teenage girl from Port Monmouth was taken into custody by Red Bank police and is now facing potential criminal charges for various Controlled Dangerous Substances offenses. The charges being leveled against the 17-year-old offender include possession of prescription legend drugs, possession of marijuana in an amount under 50 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, possession of marijuana is still considered a criminal offense under New Jersey law, despite the rapid movement toward legalizing this substance in many other states to date. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4) classifies possessing marijuana in amounts less than 50 grams as a disorderly persons offense, with the law doling out potential penalties including up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine, regardless of how small an amount of marijuana may be at issue. Fortunately for this defendant, she will be able to avoid the more harsh penalties dictated under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3) for possession of over 50 grams of the substance, considered a felony.
New Jersey law also lays out harsh potential penalties for prescription drug offenses, under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. A crime of the third or fourth degree, potential penalties can include fines of up to $35,000, depending on the drug in question, as well as possible probation, and up to 5 years in jail. Further penalties could loom on the legal horizon for this teenage alleged offender under 2C:36-2, which prohibits possession of drug paraphernalia. As with possession of marijuana, this offense is considered a disorderly persons offense, and can result in up to 6 months of jail time and additional fines of up to $1,000, as well as a potential driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 2 years, or a delay in the juvenile’s eligibility for a driver’s license if she is not yet licensed to drive.
New Jersey’s Juvenile Code of Justice, under N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-20 through N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-92, allows many reductions in penalties for juveniles faced a wide variety of types of criminal offenses. However, the potential jail time for disorderly persons offenses like possession of marijuana remain the same for juvenile offenders as they would be for an adult. The Juvenile Code of Justice does provide that no criminal record will result for a juvenile offender convicted on such charges; instead, if convicted, the girl will be adjudicated delinquent, with her records sealed and unavailable to the public.