South Jersey Defense Lawyer for Opioid Possession & Distribution
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Aggressively Defends Clients Accused of Opioid Possession and Distribution in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout NJ
Anyone paying attention to media coverage today will have heard the term “opioid crisis” and understand that opioids are a highly addictive and dangerous drug. Although opioids include heroin, it is drugs like Oxycontin and Oxycodone, two forms of opioid pain medication, that are among the most addictive and commonly abused prescription drugs in the United States. Because of this, the New Jersey criminal justice system has determined to crack down on opioid abuse by imposing harsh penalties on those who possess and distribute opioids without a valid license to prescribe these powerful drugs.
Conviction for opioid possession and distribution can adversely impact the rest of your life, and will generate negative consequences far beyond the actual punishment that will apply, such as difficulty finding a job, disqualification for certain professional licensing, and the embarrassment of having to disclose a criminal record when applying for educational opportunities or even housing.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our experienced opioid possession and distribution defense team are dedicated to providing top-quality legal representation for all of our clients. We understand what it takes to get your charges reduced or even dropped, and can explore options for avoiding formal conviction in some cases. We put our powerful negotiation skills and detail-oriented work ethic to work in every single case we take on and use our past experience on the Burlington County prosecutorial team to our advantage to challenge every piece of the prosecution’s evidence to ensure the best possible result in your case.
New Jersey Imposes Harsh Penalties if Convicted for Opioid Possession and Distribution
As noted, New Jersey, along with much of the rest of the nation, is determined to crack down on illegal possession, distribution and use of opioid drugs such as oxycodone. Although the available penalties often mirror those that may apply in other prescription drug charge cases, the courts are much more likely to impose harsher penalties in cases involving opioids. Opioids are generally classified as Schedule II drugs, which means that they have a high potential for abuse, serve a valid medical purpose and are likely to create serious physical and psychological dependence if misused. Opioids include:
- Oxycodone, which is found in Oxycontin and Percocet,
The penalties for opioid possession and distribution vary depending upon the amount of the drug involved as follows:
- Four or fewer doses: punishable as a fourth-degree crime carrying up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if you had the intent to distribute the opioid for financial gain. If the financial gain element is lacking, possession and distribution of four or fewer doses of opioid is punishable as a disorderly persons offense, meaning up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Between five and 99 doses: punishable as a third-degree crime carrying up to five years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines.
- 100 or more doses: punishable as a second-degree crime carrying up to 10 years in prison and up to $300,000 in fines where the intent to distribute the opioid is shown.
Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer Helps Clients Explore Alternatives to Conviction and Jail in Camden County Opioid Possession and Distribution Cases
An arrest for opioid possession and distribution does not automatically mean that you will be formally convicted and sent to jail. Our skilled criminal defense lawyer is often able to negotiate a reduced charge that may involve drug court participation, the pre-trial intervention program, conditional discharge or New Jersey’s diversionary program for veterans. These programs are typically available for non-violent offenders charged with drug-related crimes, and are geared more toward helping you with recovering from addiction.
For example, the conditional discharge program may be available if this is your first offense and the charge was a disorderly persons offense. This program can help eligible defendants avoid a criminal conviction and record entirely. We carefully evaluate the facts of every case to identify possible alternatives to trial and conviction, and can help you explore alternatives based on the specific facts of your case.
Call the Experienced Opioid Possession and Distribution Lawyer at Gelman Law, LLC for a Confidential Consultation Today
At Gelman Law, LLC, we know how frightening it can be if you have been arrested on opioid possession and distribution charges, especially if this is your first offense. The stakes are high in every single case involving opioid possession and distribution in New Jersey, and we take a vested interest in formulating the strongest possible defense in your case to minimize the adverse consequences that a criminal conviction will carry. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss options in your case, call or contact our office located in Cherry Hill, NJ today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Opioid Possession and Distribution Charges
FAQ: What are some of the common defenses to charges involving possession and distribution of opioids?
One of the most common defenses to charges of possession and distribution of opioids is that you did not actually intend to distribute the drugs for financial gain. Of course, the strength of this argument depends upon the amount of opioids that you had in your possession. We can also challenge the validity of a search and seizure that led to the discovery of the opioids, the arrest process itself, errors in a “line up” that led to your identification and whether the prosecution’s evidence was properly obtained.
FAQ: Is it true that I could be convicted and go to jail if I had my opioids outside of the prescription bottle even if I had a valid prescription?
Yes. It is a disorderly persons offense to keep your opioids outside of the prescription bottle in which they came. This is true even if the opioids were validly prescribed and is a reflection of how seriously New Jersey takes opioid misuse. The punishment for a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey is up to six months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.