Prescription Drug Possession
The high-profile case of Rush Limbaugh possessing, and abusing, OxyContin in 2006 put the problem of misuse of prescription medication in the national spotlight. It is no surprise that the issue has gained more media attention because the problem of prescription drug abuse, especially opioid pain medication, has increased in the last two decades. Accordingly, law enforcement agencies in Mercer County and elsewhere in New Jersey have increased their focus on the problem, resulting in more possession and distribution of prescription legal drug charges. If you have been charged with possession of a prescription legend drug like Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Demerol, Adderall or Methadone, you need to defend your rights by retaining a competent, professional attorney with the experience to help you mitigate your criminal exposure or even get the charges dismissed where possible. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can provide that hands-on, aggressive representation to defend against a prescription drug possession charge anywhere in Mercer County, including Trenton, Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton and West Windsor. Our team of former prosecutors and other skilled lawyers have a deep understanding of the criminal drug laws of the state and are extremely familiar with the court system. They can help you get the best outcome for your case. Call our Hamilton Office today at (609) 683-8102 for a free consultation with a lawyer. Attorneys are available to assist you 24/7.Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug in Mercer County
It is illegal to possess a prescription legend drug or medication in New Jersey that has not been prescribed to you, including OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, Suboxone and Perocet. The term “prescription legend drug” is defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2(e) as “any drug that, under federal or state law, requires dispensing by prescription or order of a licensed physician, veterinarian, or dentist.” N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5 is directed as prescription legend drug charges and provides, in pertinent part, that:
e. A person who knowingly possesses, actually or constructively:
(1) a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of four or fewer dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is a disorderly person; or
(2) a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of five or more dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
Elements of Prescription Drug Possession. There are three elements of a possession of prescription legend drugs offense under 2C:35-10.5 that must be established by the prosecutor. The accused must have: (1) actually or constructively possessed a prescription drug; (2) knowingly; and (3) without a prescription issued by a licensed physician.
Penalties for Prescription Drug Possession. It is a fourth degree crime to possess five or more dosage units of a prescription legend absent a valid prescription. The penalty for possessing a prescription drug as a fourth degree crime include imprisonment for up to 18 months and a fine that can reach $10,000. A disorderly persons offense for prescription legend drug possession results when someone possesses four or fewer dosage units. The penalties for a disorderly persons offense are a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in the Mercer County Jail.
Possible Defenses to a Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug Charge.It is possible to have your case dismissed outright if you simply received prescription drugs from a friend who gave you his or her medication for your personal use. Specifically, you would need to demonstrate that (i) the conduct involved no more than six dosage units distributed within a 24-hour period, (ii) the drug was lawfully prescribed to the person who gave you the medication, and (iii) you possessed the drugs solely for your personal use.
Prescription Drugs in the Wrong Bottle. You can be in legal trouble for keeping prescription drugs in the wrong bottle. N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24 makes it a disorderly persons offense if you do not keep your prescription drugs in their original container. You can avoid this charge, however, if you are carrying less than a ten-day supply, and you can provide police with the name and address of the doctor or pharmacist who prescribed the medication to you.
Forging a Prescription. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-13, it is a third-degree crime if you obtain prescription drugs through any type of fraud. The penalty could be 3 to 5 years imprisonment, and a fine up to $50,000. Click here for additional information on this offense.Ewing NJ Possession of a Prescription Drug Lawyer
Because of the addictive qualities of many prescription drugs, you may find yourself in legal difficulty due to a possession of prescription drugs offense. Make sure you get top-notch legal representation from a lawyer that has the ability to succeed on your behalf. The lawyers at the Marshall Law Firm, many of who are former prosecutors, have the expertise to build the best defense of your prescription drug possession charge. Our attorneys serve those arrested for possessing pills and other forms of prescription medication in Lawrence, East Windsor, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Hopewell Township and the rest of Mercer County. Call us for immediate assistance from a highly knowledgeable criminal attorney.