New York is the city that never sleeps and attracts many New Jersey residents on a daily basis. We make the short trip over for both employment and recreation. For some, that recreation includes marijuana use. It is therefore important for us to be aware of a change in policy towards the enforcement of marijuana offenses in New York City.
As recently reported, New York Police are set to shift their treatment of possession of small quantities of marijuana. While previously being caught with a small amount of this substance would result in your immediate arrest and subsequent prosecution, officers are now set to begin issuing summonses instead.
This change in policy coincides with a change in society’s view on both the war on drugs, and on marijuana itself. Whether this change will lead to positive results, however, remains to be seen.
With the NYPD’s new marijuana policy, many New Jersey residents are likely to equate an NYC marijuana summons with a summons for a parking ticket. This assumption is false, however, as, unlike parking tickets, a personal appearance is required with marijuana citations. If you fail to appear for your hearing the court will likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
As a New Jersey resident, you may think a New York City bench warrant may never affect you but unfortunately that’s not the case. This NBC New York story is a great example of how an old NYC bench warrant can come back to haunt a New Jersey resident.
Also unlike parking tickets, a marijuana summons can have a significant impact on your future by affecting applications for housing, employment, and even citizenship. A conviction or guilty plea is likely to show up in background checks and a failure to pay your fine can affect your credit history.
Although being caught with small amounts of marijuana in New York City no longer leads to immediate arrest, the infraction can still have a huge impact on your life going forward. If you are a New Jersey resident that has been charged with marijuana possession, call Rosenblum Law at 888-815-3649 for a free consultation. Our experienced criminal attorneys can argue your case and save you from these negative consequences.