Atlantic City Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs Lawyer
Defendants may be surprised to learn that they have been charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are not illicit or unlawful in the same way that cocaine or heroin is. Possession of prescription drugs can become illegal depending on the manner in which you obtained them. Prescription drugs are given to people by physicians for medical treatment and to help people feel better and be healthier. However, even prescription drugs can be dangerous if used improperly, and many have a high potential for abuse. Possession of a prescription drug or medication that has not been prescribed to you may result in criminal charges.
It is relatively common for people to share prescription drugs with each other because they do not believe a drug given to them by a doctor could be dangerous. However, possession of prescription drugs that were not prescribed to you is a crime in Atlantic City, and defendants may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Possession of large doses of prescription drugs can result in very serious charges. If you have been charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 and schedule a free legal consultation with an experienced Atlantic City illegal possession of prescription drugs attorney.
Possession of Prescription Drug Laws in Atlantic City
It might seem strange that it could be illegal to possess prescription drugs which are themselves legal medications. Much like illicit controlled substances, prescription drugs can be dangerous and addictive if they are abused. People may overdose just as easily on prescription medication as they can on heroin. Prescription medications should only be taken under the proper care and supervision of a doctor or licensed pharmacist.
The illegal possession of prescription drugs is so dangerous because people will often sell or distribute those drugs to others. These sellers and distributors usually do not understand how the drugs work in the human body and cannot inform their buyers on how to safely take drugs. Essentially, prescription drugs are not illegal when they have been properly obtained from a doctor or pharmacist and the person taking them is doing so for medical purposes. However, possession becomes unlawful when the drugs are obtained without a prescription. If you have been accused of illegal possession, contact our Atlantic City illegal possession of prescription drugs lawyer as soon as possible.
Charged with Possession of Prescription Drugs in Atlantic City
The illegal possession of prescription drugs in Atlantic City involves obtaining medications or drugs ordinarily dispensed by doctors by prescription. However, the possession becomes illegal or unlawful when the person possessing prescription drugs is not the individual to whom they were prescribed. Obtaining prescription drugs by means of forgery or some form of fraud will be a crime of the fourth degree. The exact nature of your charges will depend on what kind of prescription drugs were in your possession. Additionally, the more doses in your possession, the higher your charges and penalties may be.
The possession of prescription drugs will not be considered illegal if they were obtained directly from a doctor or a pharmacist pursuant to a valid prescription. No matter how dangerous the prescription drug may be, possession will not be illegal as long as you have a real medical reason for needing it and obtained it from a properly licensed physician. Prescription drugs must be kept in the original container in which they were dispensed. However, you may keep no more than a ten-day supply of the medication in a different container if necessary. If a police officer suspects you are in illegal possession of prescription drugs, you may show them your valid prescription to prove the possession is legal. Our Atlantic City illegal possession of prescription drugs attorney can help you determine the best defense for your case.
Penalties for Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs in Atlantic City
The penalties for illegal possession of prescription drugs will vary depending on what kind of drugs were in your possession and how many doses you had. Both illicit and prescription drugs are categorized under New Jersey’s drug schedule. Drugs will fall under Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V depending on how dangerous the drug is and whether it has any accepted medical uses. While all prescription drugs obviously have accepted medical uses, some are still very dangerous if used incorrectly or abused. To determine what penalties you may face, call our Atlantic City illegal possession of prescription drugs attorney.
Illegal possession of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV prescription drug is a third-degree crime. Such a violation carries a penalty of up to $35,000 and a prison term of 3 to 5 years. The illegal possession of a Schedule V prescription drug is a fourth-degree crime that carries a prison term of no more than 18 months and a maximum fine of $15,000. However, the number of doses in your possession will also influence the severity of your charges.
Under certain circumstances, your penalties and charges may be upgraded to something harsher. Penalties will increase if the defendant is illegally in possession of prescription drugs on or near a school zone. Penalties will also increase if you intended to sell or distribute the drugs in your possession. Illegal possession with the intent to distribute fewer than four doses of a drug may result in only a disorderly person charge. However, if you are in illegal possession of 100 or more doses of a prescription drug with the intent to distribute, you may be guilty of a second-degree crime and may face between 5 and 10 years in prison. Our Atlantic City illegal possession of prescription drugs attorney can help you.
Contact an Atlantic City Lawyer for Possession of Prescription Drug Charges
If you or someone you know has been charged with illegal possession of a prescription drug, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified attorney. An attorney will determine the best defense for your case, help you argue your case at trial, and protect your rights. To hire an experienced Atlantic City illegal possession of prescription drugs lawyer, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 and schedule a free legal consultation.