Elements of the Offense of Manufacturing
Proving a Distribution Case Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
An indictment for selling marijuana is only the initial step for the prosecution under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. There are several hurdles the prosecutor must then clear to prove his case and the lawyers at our office make sure that they are put to the test. Our attorneys have decades of experience defending individuals in NJ and are prepared to poke any and all holes in the marijuana distribution case filed against you.
Elements the Prosecutor Must Establish
The state must establish three (3) facts to prove a case of marijuana manufacturing, distributing or sale:
- The accused possessed marijuana;
- The accused intended to possess marijuana; and
- The marijuana possession was with the purpose or intent to distribute, dispense, or manufacture it.
The state of mind required under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 is two-fold. First, an accused must be aware of the nature and character of the item, that is, that it is marijuana. Second, the state must establish that the purpose of the accused in possessing the marijuana was to distribute, sell or manufacture.
The terms distribution or dispense are akin to delivery. This definition does not require delivery or conveyance in a transaction and is satisfied by any giving or sharing provided the recipient is not a “joint owner” of the marijuana. “Manufacture” is a broad term as used in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 and includes producing, preparing, or processing of marijuana. The growing and cultivation of a marijuana crop obviously constitutes manufacturing.
Actual and Constructive Possession of Marijuana
The state cannot prove a distribution case without establishing possession of the marijuana. Possession can be either actual or constructive. Actual possession is physical control of the marijuana accompanied with an awareness that the substances is weed. Constructive possession is constituted when an individual is aware that he is in the presence of marijuana, has the intention of possessing it and the capacity to control it. An accused must have the power and purpose to exercise control of the marijuana to be in constructive possession.
The aforesaid is just a thumbnail of the components under marijuana distribution law and our lawyers are available to discuss the requirements of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 in more detail. An attorney is available 24/7 at 1-877-450-8301.