I am happy to report that a Middletown NJ financial advisor was recently found not guilty of Marijuana Possession in Wall Township Municipal Court. Hopefully, the result will allow the accused to restore his life.
The facts underlying the marijuana charges were unorthodox. A package was delivered to the place of employment of the broker in Wall Township. The package was addressed to the defendant but was opened by the receptionist at his office. The package contained a small amount of marijuana. The employer immediately informed the police upon being advised of the package and criminal charges for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana were filed against the broker.
Under NJ law, an individual may only be guilty of marijuana possession where he or she is in actual or construction possession of the drugs. More specifically, it is illegal for an individual “to possess, actually or constructively…50 grams or less of marijuana.” N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(4). Where an individual violates this law, he can be convicted of a disorderly persons offense, have his license suspended, be fined, placed on probation and can even go to jail for up to 6 months. The individual may also apply for a conditional discharge of the charges but this was something that was not a viable option in this case given the impact that could have on the employment of this defendant.
The marijuana possession charge was therefore taken on squarely. The defense was that the prosecutor could not establish possession of the marijuana insofar as there was no evidence that the drugs were the defendants other than the fact that the weed was contained in a package addressed to him. The defendant never admitted that he ordered the package, that the package was his or that he was even aware of the existence of the package. In theory, the package could have been the property of anyone, particularly, given the common practice in shipping drugs by mail of sending drugs to an innocent addressee.
Honorable Thomas Brennan of the Wall Township Municipal Court, someone who our Wall NJ Marijuana Lawyers have occasion to appear before almost weekly on various types of cases, obviously gave the situation considerable thought. He concluded that the state was unable to satisfy its burden of proof in establishing constructive possession and dismissed the charges.
The charges in this case had a dramatic effect on the accused. He was fired from his position and is currently unemployed. However, the outcome of the case provided a level of vindication and one would assume that he has a good argument for regaining his job. Irrespective, he was successful in avoiding the negative consequences of a marijuana conviction.