Howes & Howes client E.C. was indicted on three violations of the New Jersey criminal code for growing marijuana in his basement. At the time of his arrest, E.C. was a daily user of marijuana, and had begun growing pot plants in his basement for his own consumption.
A fire in E.C.’s building led the police to find the alleged marijuana grow. They arrested E.C. for Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Over 25 Pounds) and Possession of over 50 Grams of Marijuana. While he publicly acknowledges his responsibility for the plants, E.C. maintained his innocence on the most serious charge.
As such, the State elected to push the charge to trial.
At trial, the State presented the testimony of a narcotics expert who testified that E.C.’s little pot plants would produce a minimum of one pound of pot each. However, the expert could not support his assertion. At the request of trial counsel Tim Howes, the court made the following rulings:
1. That the expert opinion was invalid as it related to the potential yield of the marijuana grow. The court instructed the jury to disregard the opinion.
2. That there was no evidence at all to support the charge of Possession with Intent to Distribute over 25 Pounds of Marijuana. The court dismissed the charge.
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