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Prescription Drug Possession NJ 2C:35-10.5 – NJ Prescription Drug Charges 2C:35-10.5 – Prescription Drug Distribution NJ

“Prescription Drug charges are common in New Jersey, though they can be punished severely.  We have several ways to challenge these cases, in an attempt to have them thrown out of court.”

Prescription drug lawyer nj

In New Jersey, it is illegal to carry prescription drugs and certain medications unless you have a prescription. Distribution of prescription drugs is always prohibited unless it is carried out by a licensed physician, dentist, veterinarian or pharmacist.

New Jersey law makes it a disorderly persons offense to knowingly possess four or fewer doses of any “scheduled” medication.  Any more than this amount makes your case more serious.  Click here to learn more about the penalties associated with a disorderly persons prescription drug offense.

If a defendant is found to have that same small amount of pills and the court finds that he or she intended to distribute those pills, the charge will be graded as a fourth degree criminal offense in New Jersey.

If a defendant has a higher quantity, (at least five but fewer than 100 units) and an intent to distribute, the charge will be a third degree offense. Under a third degree offense a fine upwards of $200,000.00 can be imposed upon the defendant, in addition to the jail sentencing guidelines associated with third degree offenses.

An amount of 100 prescription pills or more with the requisite intent to distribute will be considered a second degree offense. A fine up to $300,000 may be imposed in addition to the steep state prison sentences associated with this grade of crime.

These charges apply to certain prescription medications including:

The Tormey Law firm uses a number of strategies to fight the case against you. Our goal is to win your case.

Drug cases are interesting to fight, because there are so many ways to challenge them.  Depending on how the arresting officer even found the drugs, we could potentially even have the case dismissed.

There are circumstances in which it is completely illegal for an officer to be searching you.  An unconstitutional search will be disregarded in court, and the drug evidence found won’t stand against you.

We created a video series on How To Fight Marijuana Charges, but these strategies apply to all drug related cases.  We strongly suggest that you watch this series to learn more about challenging an illegal search, the motor vehicle stop, or even the “chain of evidence custody“.

Case types like this make being a criminal defense attorney interesting and actually somewhat fun… we love finding loopholes in cases.

Regardless of the legal circumstance you face, there is a way to get the best result.  As an experienced criminal defense attorneys with active prosecutors on staff, we have the skills that it takes to beat cases.

To talk about how we can potentially fight your case, please don’t hesitate to call for a free consultation: (201) 556-1571

For more information about prescription drug law, please read on:

Am I allowed to keep my prescription pills outside the original pill bottle?

No, under N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-24, you cannot have any controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in any other than the original container, unless you have no more than a ten (10) day supply and upon request of a police officer present the name and address of the licensed practitioner who prescribed the substance or pharmacist that provided it. A violation of this statute is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey which results in a permanent criminal charge on your record, up to a $1,000.00 fine, and up to six (6) months in the county jail if convicted.

Prescription Fraud Charges: Illegal Scripts

Obtaining drugs through fraud is a third degree crime in New Jersey governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-13 which provides in pertinent part:

§ 2C:35-13. Obtaining CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) by Fraud

It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge. It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a forged or fraudulent certificate of destruction required pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-21. A violation of this section shall be a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $50,000.00 may be imposed. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude or limit a prosecution for theft as defined in chapter 20 of this title.

As the above statute details, a charge for obtaining drugs by fraud is a third degree indictable offense in New Jersey. This is similar to a felony and will be handled in the Superior Court in the county in which the crime allegedly occurred. The penalties for this third degree crime can include:

  • Fine: Up to $50,000.00
  • Jail: Three (3) to Five (5) Years New Jersey State Prison
  • Probation
  • Driver’s license suspension (minimum six (6) months)
  • A permanent criminal charge on your record (subject to expungment after five (5) years in some cases)

As you can see, the penalties can be very severe. This is in addition to any other crimes charged such as prescription forgery, illegal prescription drug possession, etc. As a result, it is imperative that you contact an experienced drug crimes defense lawyer to represent you. Travis Tormey has been representing clients for years charged with these types of offenses and has literally handled thousands of criminal and DWI cases.

You may be eligible for the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program or the conditional discharge program in New Jersey, depending on your prior record and the degree of your charges. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at (201) 556-1571.

For more information about prescription drug charges in NJ, Wikipedia is a great place to do some research.


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With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation. With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

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