Montclair NJ Prescription Drug Charges Defense Attorney
Unfortunately, it is all too common for innocent patients to receive prescriptions for painkillers or other medications after surgeries or medical procedures only to become addicted during the recovery process. Due to the high potential for addiction and abuse of prescription medication, New Jersey lawmakers heavily regulate the prescribing and dispensation protocol related to these drugs. As such, any individual found in possession of a prescription medication without a valid prescription can be charged with a criminal offense. Further, a medical professional or other individual who dispenses prescription medication outside of the confines regulated by law may also be exposed to felony charges and severe penalties.
Some of the most commonly abused prescription medications which may result in criminal charges for those who possess or distribute them illegally include: Morphine, Xanax, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Percocet, Fentanyl, Methadone, Adderall, Valium, Ritalin, and Suboxone.
Many times, the difficulty in obtaining these substances can lead to other criminal behavior such as prescription fraud, forgery, and even theft. Sadly, in other cases, an addiction to a prescription medication, such as an opiod like Oxycodone, can lead to use and dependence on a “street drug” such as heroin, which can also result in criminal charges.
These allegations can be crushing for you and your family. However, you do not have to face them alone. Attorney Roy W. Breslow has witnessed countless cases involving those charged with prescription drug offenses during his lengthy career as a Prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General, and criminal defense attorney. He is profoundly committed to working with you in order to determine and achieve the most desirable outcome. Contact his offices anytime for a free consultation.
Prescription Drug Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5
According to New Jersey law, “prescription legend drug” refers to “any substance which under Federal or State law requires dispensing by prescription or order of a licensed physician, veterinarian or dentist.” Violations involving these substances are outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5, which dictates the following:
- Possession of a prescription drug in a quantity of 4 or fewer units or pills: Disorderly Persons Offense
- Possession, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute a prescription drug in a quantity of 4 or fewer units or pills: Fourth Degree Crime
- Possession, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute a prescription drug in a quantity ranging from 5 to 99 units or pills: Third Degree Crime
- Possession, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute a prescription drug in a quantity of 100 or more units or pills: Second Degree Crime
Prescription Drug Charges in North Caldwell or Essex County NJ?
In terms of the grading of a prescription drug charge, the seriousness of the charge is contingent upon the amount, specifically, the number of pills or units associated with the alleged offense. The penalties for a charge in any degree can be severe, as illustrated below:
- Second Degree Prescription Drug Charge: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, as well as a maximum fine of $300,000
- Third Degree Prescription Drug Charge: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison, as well as a maximum fine of $200,000
- Fourth Degree Prescription Drug Charge: punishable by a maximum term of incarceration of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison
- Disorderly Persons Prescription Drug Charge: punishable by a maximum term of 6 months to be served in the county jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000
It is important to note that there are a number of viable alternatives to a conviction for those charged with a first-time prescription drug offense, including conditional discharge, the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, and Drug Court. Understanding and pursuing all of your available options is essential to successfully resolving your case. Contact Mr. Breslow for additional information.