South Jersey Prescription Drug Charge Lawyer
Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer Dedicated to Getting Results for Clients Arrested on Prescription Drug Charge in Burlington County, Camden County and Throughout NJ
Even though prescription drugs serve a perfectly valid purpose in helping treat those suffering from illness and injury, the fact is that prescription drugs are often extremely addictive and can easily be misused. Because of this, prescription drugs are labelled as controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in New Jersey, and possessing, manufacturing or distributing these drugs without proper authorization can result in serious criminal consequences. In fact, because the New Jersey criminal justice system is serious about cracking down on illegal prescription drug use, the penalties for prescription drug charges are often much harsher than is typical for the degree of offense involved.
If you have been arrested on prescription drug charges in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect your future and your freedom. At Gelman Law, LLC, our defense team is different because we have experience working on both sides of the table. Our past experience working for the prosecution gives us a unique insight that we use to build innovative and effective defense strategies for our clients. We know that the prospect of jail time and extreme monetary fees can be daunting, but we will use our experience and skills to negotiate reduced charges or obtain an outright dismissal if at all possible in your case.
Examples of Common Prescription Drug Charges in New Jersey
Our dedicated Cherry Hill prescription drug charge lawyer handles all types of prescription drug charges in New Jersey, which commonly include:
- Prescription drug possession. Even though prescription drugs are legal under certain circumstances, it is illegal to possess prescription drugs without a valid prescription in your name. If you possess five or more doses of a prescription drug illegally, you can face fourth-degree criminal charges carrying up to 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines (illegal possession of fewer doses remains punishable as a disorderly persons offense).
- Prescription drug distribution. It is also illegal to give your validly prescribed prescription drugs to someone else or otherwise distribute prescription drugs without a valid license to do so. Possessing with the intent to distribute five to 100 doses of prescription drugs for financial gain is punishable as a third-degree crime carrying jail time and up to $100,000 in fines.
- Prescription drug fraud. This crime centers around the crime of misrepresentation, where you obtain a prescription with a forged prescription or someone else’s prescription. Prescription drug fraud is punishable as a third-degree offense, meaning that you could face three to five years in jail and up to $50,000 in fines.
- Prescription drug forgery. The crime of forging a prescription is often prosecuted in connection with fraud charges, and is also punishable as a third-degree offense, carrying a punishment of between three to five years in jail and up to $50,000 in fines.
- Theft of prescription drugs. Simply stealing the materials necessary to prescribe prescription drugs—such as the prescription pad or forms–is a criminal offense in and of itself. This prescription drug charge is often stacked with other offenses such as fraud and forgery.
- Unlawful use of prescription drugs. The prosecution can charge you with a disorderly persons offense if you are under the influence of prescription drugs for which you did not have a valid prescription—even if they are only able to identify the symptoms of the drug use, but are not able to identify the exact prescription drug.
Arrested on Prescription Drug Charges? Skilled Criminal Defense Team at Gelman Law, LLC is Committed to Building a Strong Defense in Your Case
Our skilled prescription drug charge defense team will analyze all available evidence in your case and conduct our own analysis to identify the strongest possible defense strategies in your case. While the array of potential defense strategies is wide, in cases involving prescription drug charges we can assert either a “de minimis defense” or an affirmative defense. A de minimis defense essentially asserts that the crime was so minimal that it should be dismissed—for example, by asserting that you only distributed a few doses on a single occasion and you possessed a legal prescription for the drug. In other cases, we can allege:
- Constitutional violations, such as a lack of probable cause for a search that identified the drugs,
- Chain of custody issues with the drugs,
- The drugs were not actually in your legal possession and control,
- You had a valid prescription for the drugs or were otherwise authorized to possess them.
Call Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation to Discuss Your Camden County Prescription Drug Charges
If you have been arrested on prescription drug charges or learned that you are under investigation for committing a prescription drug-related crime, call or contact our experienced prescription drug charge lawyer today so that we can begin building the most compelling possible defense strategy in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Drug Charges in New Jersey
FAQ: Are there any alternatives to going to jail if I have been arrested on prescription drug charges?
Yes. If you have a substance abuse problem, courts are much more likely to favor rehabilitation. New Jersey’s Drug Court or pre-trial intervention program may also be valid alternatives if you are a first-time offender, and generally impose conditions such as substance abuse treatment, regular drug testing, counseling and other conditions.
FAQ: What types of prescription drugs can subject me to the types of prescription drug charges under New Jersey law?
Any drug that must be obtained with a prescription. This includes commonly used drugs such as Adderall, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Ritalin, Valium, Vicodin and Xanax. Many mistakenly believe that the widespread availability of these drugs for valid treatment-related uses means that crimes involving these drugs are less serious. In fact, this is the opposite of the current view of the New Jersey criminal justice system, which is punishing these crimes even more severely to deter widespread misuse of these drugs.