Scotch Plains NJ Prescription Drug Attorney
Possession & Distribution of Prescription Drugs in Scotch Plains New Jersey
Not long ago, the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad provided the community with information on the prescription drug abuse crisis among teens. Where there is often a focus on drugs like heroin, we fail to remember that the drugs sitting in our own medicine cabinets can be harmful. That is why possessing, selling, distributing or possession with intent to distribute prescription legend drugs is illegal absent a license or prescription to do so. Pain killers like Oxycontin mimic the effects of heroin, anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium can lead to memory problems, and stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall can cause heart issues or seizures. If you have been charged with being in possession of prescription drugs or, worse yet, distribution of this form of controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”), you need to get a skilled attorney on your side. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our lawyers have the know-how to help you get out from under a prescription drug charge. The first step to helping yourself is to consult with a knowledgeable lawyer. The attorneys at our firm stand ready to serve you in this capacity and are ready to put their 100 plus years of experience to work for you, including their time serving as prosecutors. Contact us at 908-272-1700 for immediate assistance.
Scotch Plains Prescription Drug Charge
A “prescription legend drug” is any form of controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) that can only be distributed in accordance with a prescription issued by a licensed physician. Failure to adhere to this requirement results in a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5. Subsection “a” of this law is directed at the offense of distributing, selling or possession with intent to distribute prescription drugs like Xanax, Suboxone and Hydrocodone. Illegal possession of prescription medication, for example, Vicodin or Adderall, is addressed under 2C:35-10.5e. An individual violates this section of the statute if they: (1) possess a prescription drug; (2) knowingly; and (3) without a valid prescription. An individual illegally distributes CDS in violation of 2C:35-10.5a if they: (1) distribute, sell or possess a prescription legend drug with intent to distribute; (2) their conduct is knowing; and (3) they lack legal authority to dispense the drug.
Grading and Penalties for Prescription Drug Offenses. Possession of four or less dosage units of Oxycontin, Percocet, Valium or another medication without a valid prescription is a disorderly persons offense resulting in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in the Union County Jail. Possession of five or more dosage units of a prescription drug is a fourth degree crime that carries up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. It is also a fourth degree crime to distribute or sell four or fewer dosage units. Distributing, selling or possessing at least 5 but less than 100 dosage units is a third degree crime that triggers a fine of up to $200,000 and up to 5 years in prison. The most serious prescription legend drug offense is a second degree crime and applies to distribution of 100 or more dosage units of opioids and other prescription drugs. The penalties for this violation include a fine of up to $300,000 and 5-10 years in prison. An individual convicted of either possession or distribution under 2C:35-10.5 also faces a driver’s license suspension of 6-24 months.
Possible defenses to Possession of Prescription Drugs. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have vast experience defending against prescription drug charges. An attorney will be sure to evaluate your case to see if certain defenses apply, including:
- A friend gave you his pills in a very small quantity for your own personal use.
- The pills in your possession were, in fact, prescribed to you.
- The police did not have probable cause to search you or your car.
- The police failed to inform you that you could refuse consent, prior to the police asking for your consent to search your car.
- You did not knowingly possess the prescription drugs.
- If the prescription drugs were not in the original bottle, you were carrying a small quantity for purposes of travel.
Scotch Plains NJ Prescription Legend Drug Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for possessing prescription medication, you need representation from a savvy defense lawyer because the consequences under 2C:35-10.5 are serious. The attorneys at the Marshall Firm are accomplished criminal litigators that have successfully defended many prescription drug possession and distribution offenses. Whether your case is pending in Scotch Plains Municipal Court or at the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth, an attorney on our staff has the tools to help you secure the very best outcome of your case. Call us at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers immediately.
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