New Jersey Prescription Drug Charge Defense Lawyer
Top-Rated Prescription Drug Charge Lawyer Fights Drug Charges in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Union County, Ocean County, and Burlington County, NJ
If you are facing prescription drug charges, I am ready to fight for a not guilty verdict in your case. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, I use my knowledge of both sides of the criminal justice system to get the best possible outcome for clients.
Prescription drugs, while powerful as pain relievers, can also be highly addictive. Selling even a handful of prescription pills can land you in jail for 18 months—or much longer. New Jersey prescription drug laws criminalize possession (without a prescription), distribution, sale, manufacture and illegal obtainment of these drugs. These laws apply in cases involving drugs like Oxycontin, Adderall, Percocet, Xanax and any other drug requiring a doctor’s prescription.
When selecting a criminal defense lawyer, you need a lawyer with a proven track record of success. We have hundreds of five-star client reviews and I am ready to put my skills to work for you.
Call or fill out an online contact form through our website for a free consultation with an experienced prescription drug charge defense lawyer today. I serve clients in Middlesex and Mercer Counties and across New Jersey.
Prescription Drug Possession & Distribution Charges Under NJSA 2C:35-10.5
NJSA 2C:35-10.5 imposes criminal penalties for illegal possession of any “prescription legend drug”. Prescription legend drugs include any type of drug that requires some type of prescription, whether from a doctor, dentist or other medical professional. To prove illegal possession of prescription drugs, the prosecution must show:
- The drugs in question are prescription drugs, also known as controlled dangerous substances (CDS)
- You were not carrying the drugs legally
- You knowingly possessed the drugs, whether actually or constructively (in other words, you knew the drugs were present and intended to exercise control over them)
For distribution charges to stick, the prosecution must prove the nature of the drugs, and that:
- You distributed the drugs, or intended to distribute the drugs, for financial gain, plus
- The amount distributed (or held with the intent to distribute) was the same amount alleged in the charge.
Possession and distribution are only examples of the charges you may face. If the prescription drugs were obtained fraudulently, you can face additional third-degree charges for prescription drug fraud under NJSA 2C:35-13. Prescription fraud charges apply when you obtained the drugs with someone else’s prescription, for example.
Regardless of the type of prescription drug charges you face, you need a strong defense lawyer in your corner. At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, I am ready to put my reputation and experience to work in your case.
Potential Penalties for Violating NJ Prescription Drug Laws
Violating NJSA 2C:35-10.5 can carry a range of criminal charges. Depending upon the circumstances, you could face a misdemeanor-level crime or a more serious indictable felony offense. Grading of the crime is based upon the amount of drug possessed and what the person is doing with the drugs.
- Possession of four or fewer prescription pills (not legally prescribed to the person) is a disorderly persons offense punishable by up to six months in prison and $1,000 in fines, while
- Possession of four or fewer prescription pills without a prescription and with the intent to distribute is a fourth-degree indictable offense. Fourth-degree crimes can be punished with up to 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Additional charges that may apply include:
- Prescription drug fraud and forgery. Prescription drug fraud is a third-degree crime and you will face between three and five years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines. Forging a prescription is also a third-degree crime—in many cases, the two charges are brought together.
- Theft. Stealing a prescription pad is a third-degree crime.
- Large-scale distribution. Distributing over 100 prescription drug pills is a second-degree crime, carrying five-to-ten years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines.
New Jersey criminal penalties for illegal prescription drug activities can be harsh. Additional penalties may apply on top of those specified in the precise statute involved in your case. For example, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to two years, even if a motor vehicle was not involved in your case. You need a defense lawyer who understands all aspects of the legal system to minimize any potential consequences.
My goal in every case is to obtain a not-guilty verdict or have your charges dropped. Depending on the circumstances, I will always work to minimize the penalties you face. To discuss defense options in your case, call or contact my office today.
Call Today to Get Help from a Respected Prescription Drug Charge Lawyer
New Jersey law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts take illegal activities involving prescription drugs very seriously. I analyze every piece of the prosecution’s evidence and investigate to gather our own. Depending upon the facts of your case, constitutional violations and flaws in the prosecution’s evidence could contribute to successful defense strategies.
In light of the media attention surrounding the illegal opioid use in recent years, d. I will also explore all of these options to fight for your right to rehab as an alternative criminal punishment.
To learn more about my experience and practice, call my office for a free initial consultation today. You can also fill out this online contact form and I will respond personally.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Drug Charges
Yes. Using someone else’s prescription drugs without your own prescription is a disorderly persons offense. You can face up to six months in prison and $1,000 in fines. The police officer does not actually have to see you using the drug to charge you. In most cases, the prosecution will use the common symptoms of prescription drug use as their primary evidence.
The prosecution often charges defendants with more than one crime in prescription drug cases. That means you may be facing penalties that are much more severe than those listed in any single criminal code section. The prosecution can use this as leverage to get you to accept a plea bargain. Although this makes the prosecution’s job easier, accepting a plea is not always in your best interests. I will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to protect your rights. That includes keeping you informed of any plea offer on the table—as well as the possible repercussions of accepting or declining.