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I was arrested with marijuana and it is my second offense, I was on PTI 5 years ago. What can I do?

Closter, NJ |

I am 23 years old and this is my second offense. I was not driving a vehicle at the time of this incident, but the marijuana was located in my car. I gave permission to search the vehicle because my friend was arrested before me, which made me feel that they would be able to obtain a warrant easily. I am currently in graduate school for speech language pathology and am experienced in working with autistic children and children with various disorders that hinder their speech and language ability. I now believe that because I was charged with this I will no longer be able to work in a school system, hospital, or even a rehabilitation center. I am in urgent need of information and a lawyer to help me with my case.

Thanks for the quick response.

UPDATE... THe person I was with said that he would take the blame for the marijuana in the car. Another lawyer I talked to recently said that if he takes the blame that they would dismiss their case against me. What do you think?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

You are definitely need a lawyer! By virtue of the fact that you have already been granted PTI, you have used up your one bite at the apple for acceptance into a diversionary program. Therefore, you will not qualify for a conditional discharge. This leaves you in a position where you have to defend your new charge. There may be search and seizure issues regarding whether your consent to allow the search of your vehicle was truly consensual. In the event, your attorney can raise enough issues to shake the State's case, there is also the possibility that your charge could be downgraded to a local ordinance. While the arrest would still reflect on a criminal background check, the conviction would not. Furthermore, you would qualify to have the record of both the arrest and conviction expunged in two years. Please feel free to contact my office for more information.


You are correct, your teaching license is may be in jeopardy. Your prior PTI excludes you from a second diversion program. You do not mention the weight. This will determine if the the case is a felony or Municipal is nature. Your fact pattern persents at least three potential arguments on a Motion to Supress Evidence but as you may know these motions are tough to win especially in Municipal Court. You can only be charged with 39:4-49.1, drugs in a car, if you were operating the vehicle so the usual leverage the State has with this charge does not exist. You do not mention the town, and some towns would consider jail time on this, but as a first offender with small weight and cooperation at the scene I can't see it. Also depending on the town you may not lose you license for a conviction. You are allowed to plea bargain these cases in Municipal Court but if there enough of a defence they may concede and agree on a lesser charge as a compromize. A municipal ordiance does not show up on the computer and can be expunged in 2 years but the arrest will still be there for 2 years. I'd go for it. You have nothing to lose. You need to choose a experienced attorney with whom you feel comfortable. Check on my creditials and call if you like. Good luck.

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