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Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Springfield NJ Prescription Drug Possession Attorney

Prescription Drug Offense in Springfield New Jersey

Earlier this year, opioid drug abuse was declared a public health crisis in New Jersey. In 2015, nearly 1,600 people died of a drug overdose in New Jersey, which was twice the national average. As a consequence, the Springfield Police Department has cracked down on people who possess addictive prescription medication like OxyContin, Xanax, Vicodin, Hydocodone or Percocet, where the medication was not prescribed to the possessor. If you have been charged with illegally possessing prescription medication in Springfield, you need the assistance of an experienced defense attorney. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our criminal lawyers limit their practice to representation of clients accused of violating the law including possessing and distributing prescription legend drugs. Given that many of the firm’s attorneys are former prosecutors, we understand both sides of any prescription medication case and know how to create a case strategy that will lead to a resolution that has the least impact on your job, your family, and your life. Particularly if you are struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, the added legal woes that come with a Springfield drug possession charge can be overwhelming. Call our Union Township office at 908-272-1700 for a free initial consultation with a lawyer.

Possession of Prescription Drugs in Union County

Under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5(e), a person cannot be in possession of prescription medication that was not prescribed to them. The law defines a “prescription drug” as any drug that is dispensed by prescription from a licensed physician, veterinarian, or dentist. “Rx only” or similar wording must appear on the packaging and must only be dispensed by a licensed medical practitioner.

Elements of Prescription Drug Possession. In order to be guilty of prescription drug possession, it must be proved that the accused: (i) had possession of a prescription drug; (ii) knowingly possessed the prescription drugs; and (iii) was not the person to whom the drugs were prescribed. All of those elements must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt before a person can be convicted of the offense.

Penalties for Prescription Drug Possession. It is a fourth degree crime to possess five or more dosage units of a drug not prescribed to you. The penalty for this offense can be up to 18 months in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. It is a disorderly persons offense to be in possession of four or fewer dosage units of prescription drugs not prescribed to you. The penalty can be up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

Defense To This Charge. A Marshall Firm attorney may be able to get your entire case dismissed if he can show that a friend gave you his prescription medication for your personal use. To take advantage of this defense, there needs to be a demonstration that your friend gave you no more than six pills in a day, the drug was lawfully prescribed to your friend, and you had them solely for your personal use.

Drugs in the Wrong Bottle, and Forging a Prescription. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24 provides that prescription drugs can only lawfully be kept in the original container, otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense. In addition, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-13 makes it unlawful to obtain a prescription through a forged prescription. The penalty for such fraud could be 3 to 5 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Enhanced Consequences for Distribution of Prescription Drugs. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5 imposes heightened penalties if you are convicted of selling or distributing a prescription legend drug like Suboxone, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Xanax and Vicodin. It is a second degree crime punishable by 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $300,000 for someone to distribute 100 or more dosage units. Selling at least 5 but less than 100 dosage units of a prescription legend drug results in up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $200,000. It is a fourth degree crime for someone to engage in distribution of four or less dosage units with imprisonment for up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000 resulting from such an activity. For more information on this subject, refer to Springfield CDS Distribution Charges.

Charged With Prescription Drug Possession in Springfield

Because prescription drug abuse is a public health crisis, law enforcement in Springfield and everywhere else in Union County are checking the validity of prescription medication more frequently. So, if you have been arrested for being in unlawful possession of prescription drugs or, worse yet, distribution of medication, help yourself by getting a knowledgeable lawyer. The team of criminal defense lawyers at the Marshall Law Firm is here to bring its enormous collective experience in prescription medication cases to bear for your benefit. Call today at 908-272-1700 to discuss the facts of your drug case with an attorney who has the know-how to thoroughly protect you against a conviction. The first consultation with our attorneys is completely free.