According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), prescription drugs, such as pain killers, psychotropic medications, and opiates, have become one of the most abused controlled substances in the country. Many people wrongly assume that if a medical professional has prescribed a drug, it is not addictive or harmful. However, anyone can become addicted to a prescription drug and legitimate use can quickly become illegal once a person runs out of a valid prescription.
Under New Jersey criminal statute 2C:35-10.5, it is illegal for an individual to possess, distribute, or use a drug or medication that has not been prescribed by a licensed practitioner.
Therefore, prescription drug-related crimes may include the following:
- Possessing drugs without a valid prescription,
- Forging prescriptions,
- Illegal transportation or distribution of prescription medication,
- Prescription fraud by physicians,
- Large scale prescription drug trafficking, and
- Advertising prescription drugs illegally online.
Similar to other drug crimes in New Jersey, the punishments often vary depending on the amount a person possesses, as well as the intent that person has for the drugs. For example, if a person illegally possesses prescription drugs in an amount of at least 100 or more dosages with the intent to distribute, the criminal charge would be more severe than if the person had possessed fewer than five dosages.
Call for Trusted Legal Guidance
The skilled criminal defense lawyers at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo have years of experience defending those accused of prescription drug crimes. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you or a loved one has been charged with a prescription drug-related crime at (844) 288-7978. Your initial consultation is free.