Defense Attorneys for Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs are controlled substances and potentially dangerous, just like meth or cocaine. In New Jersey, possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription is illegal, as is manufacturing, selling or distributing such pills or medications.
If you’ve been charged with prescription drug crimes in New Jersey, you face harsh penalties. You need support from an aggressive legal team that can protect your legal rights and fight the allegations against you. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers have more than 45 years of combined experience defending adults and juveniles accused of possession, distribution and other drug offenses.
Drug Charges We Handle
Our attorneys are proud to represent clients across New Jersey. Our extensive experience in criminal law aids us in negotiating plea bargains or fighting such charges before judge and jury, depending on what is in our client’s best interests.
From simple possession to prescription fraud, importation or trafficking, you can count on our lawyers to provide an aggressive defense against all types of charges. We are prepared to handle cases involving any type of controlled substance, including but not limited to:
- Ambien (zolpidem)
- Demerol (meperidine)
- OxyContin (oxycodone)
- Palladone (hydromorphone)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Vicodin (hydrocodone)
- Xanax (alprazolam)
Whether you borrowed a few pills from a friend, went “doctor shopping” to satisfy a prescription drug addiction, or you simply couldn’t produce proof of your prescription when law enforcement demanded to see it, turn to the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. We will fight for you, your rights, and your future.
Criminal Penalties for Prescription Drug Crimes
Many people falsely believe they cannot be arrested or penalized for possessing drugs which are legal and have legitimate medical purposes, such as Ambien (a popular insomnia medication) or Valium (a medication used to treat anxiety, seizures, and muscle spasms). As too many defendants have learned the hard way, prescription drugs are legal only if you possess the appropriate prescription from a licensed and certified physician.
This is clearly established by N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-10, which states, “It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog [chemically similar substance], unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized.”
The phrase “actually or constructively” is important. Actual possession is straightforward and refers to having drugs on your person, but the concept of constructive possession is more abstract. Constructive possession means you were not physically in possession of the drug(s), but were (1) aware of the drugs, and (2) had the intent and power to control the drugs (e.g. where they were taken, to whom they were sold, and so forth).
Penalties for prescription drug convictions are generally harsh, regardless of the exact nature of the offense. For example, prescription fraud, forgery, and/or theft of prescription pads are generally charged as third degree indictable crimes (felonies). Defendants face a $100,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Actual sales/distribution or even possession with intent to distribute are among the most serious drug crime charges. If the charges involve five to 100 doses, the defendant can be charged with a third degree crime. If the number of doses exceed 100, the defendant can be charged with a second degree crime and fined with up to $300,000.
Call for a Free Consultation
We serve clients from Atlantic and Cape May counties, and many other areas throughout New Jersey.
Don’t let a false accusation or a simple error in judgment destroy your future. Take action by contacting one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys at our offices in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Atlantic City and Wildwood at (800) 508-9786 today. We are available seven days a week, including holidays. You will not be charged any fees for your initial free consultation, and we will keep your information confidential.