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NJ Synthetic Marijuana

NJ Synthetic Marijuana Charges

Synthetic marijuana, often referred to as K2 or Spice, has become an increasingly common illegal drug over the past decade in New Jersey. While synthetic cannabinoids were legal for a period of time, the state eventually banned these substances due to serious health risks and safety concerns.

However, arrests for synthetic marijuana possession, distribution, and intent to distribute continue in NJ. Being charged with any synthetic cannabinoid offense can lead to criminal penalties if convicted.

So if you have been arrested for synthetic marijuana in New Jersey, it is essential to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. An aggressive lawyer can often get charges reduced or even dismissed by exploiting flaws in the prosecution’s case.

Synthetic Marijuana Possession in New Jersey

Under statute 2C:35-10.3, it is illegal in New Jersey to knowingly obtain or possess synthetic cannabinoids, even for personal use. Penalties vary based on the amount possessed:

  • Less than 1 ounce – Up to 18 months in jail
  • 1 ounce to 5 pounds – Up to 3 years in prison
  • 5-25 pounds – 3-5 years in prison

School zone drug offenses can also increase penalties. And possession of drug paraphernalia may lead to additional charges.

Synthetic Marijuana Distribution in New Jersey

Distributing or possessing with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana comes with even stiffer penalties under statute 2C:35-5. For example:

  • 1-5 pounds – 3-5 years in prison
  • 5-25 pounds – 5-10 years in prison
  • 25+ pounds – 10-20 years in prison

Large fines up to $300,000 also apply. And using a minor for distribution leads to further enhanced penalties.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
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Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
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Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Hiring an Experienced Synthetic Marijuana Lawyer

Given the complexity of defending synthetic cannabinoid charges, it is critical to retain legal counsel experienced specifically in NJ drug crime cases. Look for a lawyer who:

  • Focuses on defending NJ drug charges
  • Has represented synthetic marijuana defendants before
  • Is familiar with local prosecutors and judges
  • Has a track record of successful case results

Don’t take chances on the first attorney you find. Thoroughly vet drug crimes lawyers to find the best one to fight your charges aggressively.

Fighting Synthetic Marijuana Charges in NJ

There are various strategies an experienced lawyer can use to attack synthetic cannabinoid charges, such as:

  • File a motion to suppress evidence due to an illegal search
  • Dispute whether the substance found actually contains banned chemicals
  • Challenge if there was actual or constructive possession established
  • Raise doubt about knowledge the material contained synthetic marijuana
  • Allege police misconduct or defective testing procedures

An assertive attorney will leave no stone unturned in undermining the prosecution’s case and exposing reasonable doubt over your guilt.

Should I Accept a Plea Deal or Go to Trial?

Your attorney will advise if pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser penalty makes strategic sense based on the specifics of your case. For example, a plea to the disorderly persons offense of attempted possession may be preferable to trial.

However, you should be reluctant to accept any plea that involves jail time. If your lawyer sees viable chances of getting charges dismissed pre-trial or winning a full acquittal at trial, that should be the top priority.

Are Synthetic Marijuana Charges Difficult to Defend Against?

These cases can certainly present challenges, but an experienced lawyer can still instill reasonable doubt. Some examples of potential weaknesses:

  • Illegal search leading to discovery of the synthetic material
  • Lack of direct evidence tying you to the drugs
  • Unreliable field drug testing kits
  • Credibility issues with police witnesses

Before losing hope, discuss the specifics of your case with a defense lawyer. There may be more ways to fight than you think.

Should I Admit the Drugs Were Mine to Avoid Distribution Charges?

No, you should never admit to anything when questioned by police if facing possible synthetic marijuana charges. Simple possession and distribution both carry multi-year prison terms. An attorney may be able to get both charges dropped or reduced.

Let your lawyer handle negotiations with prosecutors. Any statements made without counsel present could be used to incriminate you and hurt your defense down the road.

Are Synthetic Marijuana Charges Worse for Juveniles?

Yes, the penalties for juveniles charged with synthetic cannabinoid offenses are even more severe. And prosecutors tend to pursue harsher charges against minors caught with synthetic marijuana.

An experienced defense lawyer can argue for enrollment in the state’s pretrial intervention (PTI) program for juveniles and dismissal of charges upon completion. Avoiding a permanent criminal record should be the top priority.


Defending against synthetic marijuana charges in New Jersey is difficult but not hopeless. An aggressive criminal defense lawyer can often get allegations reduced or dismissed by exploiting flaws in the prosecution’s case.

Don’t assume you have to plead guilty and serve years in prison. Fight back. With an experienced attorney highlighting deficiencies in the state’s evidence, you have strong chances of acquittal or conviction on a lesser offense.

While the penalties seem harsh, viable defenses frequently exist. Protect your future through zealous legal representation – it’s your best weapon against devastating synthetic cannabinoid convictions.


[1] New Jersey Statute 2C:35-10.3

[2] NJ Court Rules on Attorney Conduct

[3] Synthetic Marijuana Charges Defense Attorney NJ


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