Drug Charges Defense Attorneys in Ocean County, New Jersey
New Jersey takes an increasingly tougher stance on possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription from a doctor. As such, charges are wide-ranging and found among teenagers and adults in white-collar and blue-collar communities. Our lawyers often represent clients for unlawful possession or distribution of Adderall, Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, and Xanax throughout New Jersey. Many of the cases that we handle involve a small amount of pills borrowed from a friend or family member. Sometimes, arrests will even occur as a result of carrying medication in an improper container. These acts, though seemingly harmless, are deemed criminal by the state. This is due to the fact that prescription medications are considered narcotics. These medications are powerful opiates that are considered gateway drugs to more serious drugs such as Heroin or Cocaine. A conviction of unlawful prescription drug possession or distribution will expose you to incarceration in prison, probation, loss of your driver’s license, and thousands of dollars in fines. The attorneys at Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver dedicate a large portion of their practice exclusively to defending clients against drug charges and other criminal offenses in Ocean County, New Jersey, including Jackson, Brick, Point Pleasant, Manahawkin, Lacey Township, Ocean Township, Mantoloking, Surf City, Barnegat, Bay Head, and Bayville. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced Ocean County prescription drug defense lawyer contact our Toms River office at (848) 238-2100.
Prescription Drug Charges in New Jersey
A prescription legend drug is a medication that can only be sold or dispensed only upon the prescription of a licensed medical practitioner (licensed physician, veterinarian or dentist). If a person attempts to forge or falsify a prescription to obtain Rx drugs then he or she will be charged the separate crime of prescription drug forgery.
4th Degree Felony – Possession of 5 or more dosages – punishable by up to 18 months in prison
Disorderly Persons Offenses – Possession of 4 or less dosages – punishable by up to 6 months in county jail.
Under the Unlawful Influence of Prescription Drugs
Disorderly Persons Offense – Exhibiting symptoms of being under the influence – punishable by up to 6 months in county jail.
Distribution of Prescription Medications and Possession with Intent to Distribute in NJ
Like most other drug crimes, the degree of punishment is determined by the amount of drugs confiscated. Penalties associated with the Prescription Drug Distribution Law in New Jersey rely upon the amount of “dosages” of the prescription drug that are on hand at the time of arrest. For this reason and many others, it is important to seek out and retain the representation of an experienced criminal lawyer because these cases often hinge on many issues that must be litigated in court or discussed in a plea arrangement with the prosecution. For example, a defense lawyer can challenge the State’s evidence that the prescription drugs were possessed by the defendant with the intent to distribute for monetary gain. Moreover, suppression issues such as lack of probable cause, illegal search and seizure, and inadmissible statements are very common in drug cases. See the chart below that breaks down the degree of charges for prescription drug distribution and possession of prescription drugs with intent to distribute.
Penalties for Prescription Drug Distribution in New Jersey
100 or more dosage units for financial gain
5 – 10 years in prison; presumption of incarceration
99 – 5 dosage units for financial gain
3 – 5 years in prison
4 or fewer dosage for financial gain
Up to 18 months in prison
Disorderly Persons Offense
4 or fewer dosage without financial gain
Up to 6 months in jail
Consult a Jackson NJ Prescription Drug Charge Attorney for a Free Consultation
As illustrated in the above chart, prescription drug crimes are very serious and difficult to handle for those without experience. Properly handled, these charges will often result in downgrade or admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention. If successful, defendants avoid convictions and criminal records upon completion of the program. William Proetta, our firm’s founding attorney, has successfully handled a wide array of criminal, municipal, and superior court cases including many prescription drug charges. If you would like to speak with an experienced Ocean County prescription drug defense attorney and build a case strategy upon your facts to meet your needs, please contact our office conveniently located in Toms River at (848) 238-2100 for a free initial consultation.