Prescription Drugs

New Jersey Prescription Drug Charges Lawyer

New Jersey Prescription Fraud, Prescription Forgery, Drug Possession & Prescription Drug Distribution

Are you facing criminal prescription drug charges? To learn how to win your case contact Anthony Palumbo at 1-866-664-8118 for a free consultation.

Possessing or Distributing Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey without a prescription or authorization by law is a criminal offense. Pharmaceuticals are considered Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) and the penalties for unauthorized use and distribution are severe. My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, and I defend all types of Prescription Drug Offenses in New Jersey. Whether you are charged with Prescription Fraud, Prescription Forgery, Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs, Distribution of Prescription Drugs, or Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs, it is important to contact an experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer.

Experienced Union County Prescription Fraud Attorney

I have been successfully defending individuals in Union County, New Jersey for over 35 years. On many occasions I have been able to get my clients' charges dropped, fines reduced, and jail time eliminated. If you have been arrested, or have received a criminal charge or complaint in New Jersey, I can assist you with your case. Contact me, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney at 1-866-664-8118 for a free initial consultation by phone or in person. I defend individuals throughout New Jersey including Union County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Essex County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Hudson County, and Morris County.

What is a Prescription Drug?

A prescription drug is any drug that may only be lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed practitioner. Common prescription drugs include, but are not limited to opiates, painkillers, tranquilizers, depressants, and stimulants such as Adderall, Valium, Ritalin, Ketamine, Fentanyl, Mebarol, Percordan, Vicodin, Xanax, Rohypnol, Suboxone, Nembutal, Methadone, Morphine, Oxycontin, Oxcodone, Percocet, hydrocodone, Lorazepam, buprenorphine, Diazepam, and Roxycontin. In New Jersey, there are several charges that may result from illegal use of Prescription Drugs including Prescription Drug Possession, Prescription Drug Distribution, Prescription Fraud, Prescription Forgery, and Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs. This page provides a breakdown of each crime and the penalties attached to a conviction. At the offices of Palumbo & Renaud, I will do everything in my power to prevent the prosecution from obtaining a conviction of the following crimes.

New Jersey Prescription Drug Possession

In New Jersey, it is illegal to possess prescription drugs unless the drugs are lawfully prescribed by a licensed physician. Charges vary based on the amount of drugs in possession.

  • It is a Fourth Degree Crime to knowingly possess, actually or constructively, a prescription drug in an amount of four or more dosage units.
  • It is a disorderly persons offense to knowingly possess, actually or constructively, a prescription drug in an amount of four or fewer dosage units.

Penalties

  • Fourth Degree Crime: Up to 18 months in prison.
  • disorderly persons offense: Up to 6 months in prison & $1,000 in fines.

New Jersey Prescription Drug Distribution

In New Jersey, it is illegal to distribute prescription drugs unless the drugs are lawfully administered by a licensed physician. Charges vary based on the amount of drugs distributed.

  • It is a disorderly persons offense to distribute in an amount of four or fewer dosage.
  • It is a Fourth Degree Crime to distribute for pecuniary gain or possess with intent to distribute an amount of four or fewer dosage units.
  • It is a Third Degree Crime to distribute or possess with intent to distribute at least five but fewer than 100 dosage units.
  • It is a Second Degree Crime to distribute or possess with intent to distribute an amount of 100 or more dosage units.

Penalties

  • disorderly persons offense: Up to 6 months in prison & $1,000 in fines.
  • Fourth Degree Crime: Up to 18 months in prison.
  • Third Degree Crime: 3 to 5 years in prison & a fine of up to $200,000.
  • Second Degree Crime: 5 to 10 years in prison & a fine of up to $300,000.

New Jersey Prescription Drug Fraud

Under New Jersey law, it is illegal to acquire or possess prescription drugs by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge. It is also illegal to acquire or possess a forged or fraudulent certificate of destruction. These acts result in Third Degree Charges and the penalty for a conviction is 3 to 5 years in prison & a fine of up to $50,000.00.

New Jersey Prescription Forgery

A person is guilty of forged prescriptions or counterfeit prescriptions if he, with the purpose to defraud, makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it looks like someone else who did not authorize that act did it, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed. The penalty for this charge is a Third Degree Crime which carries up to 3 to 5 years in prison.

New Jersey Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs

It is illegal to be under the influence of a prescription drug which was not lawfully prescribed. In order to obtain a conviction, the State does not have to identify the specific prescription drug involved, but must prove that the accused showed symptoms caused by the drug. The penalty for this charge is a disorderly persons offense which carries up to 6 months in prison & $1,000 in fines.

New Jersey Prescription Drug Defenses

In New Jersey, there is a defense against Distribution of Prescription Drugs known as the De Minimus Defense. This is a defense that may apply when an individual lawfully receives prescription drugs, but then gives some of those drugs to another person for that person's personal use. In order for the defense to apply, certain elements must be present. First, the defendant must be charged with Third Degree Distribution of Prescription Drugs. Second, the amount of drugs in issue can be no more than six dosage units distributed within 24-hours. Third, the prescription drug must have originally been lawfully prescribed or administered. Finally, the defendant must have intended the distribution to be only for the receiver's use.

Affirmative Defenses

In addition to the De Minimus Defense, there are certain affirmative defenses to New Jersey Prescription Drug Possession & Distribution Crimes. If an affirmative defense can be proved, the defendant will be absolved of all charges. The defendant carries the burden of proving the following affirmative defenses:

  • The drug was lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician or practitioner.
  • The defendant was acting within the scope of his employment because he is a licensed pharmacy, licensed pharmacist, researcher, wholesaler, distributor, manufacturer, warehouseman or his representative.
  • The defendant is a nurse acting under the direction of a physician.
  • The defendant is a common carrier or messenger for transporting drugs. The package must be unbroken for this defense to apply.

I have successfully defended countless clients against Prescription Drug Charges in New Jersey. Contact me today at 1-866-664-8118. I will be happy to provide you with a free initial consultation by phone or in person at either of my two offices located on 190 North Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey 07016 and 740 Newark Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208.

I know how difficult it is to be charged with a crime involving prescription drugs. If you or a loved one has been charged with a Prescription Drug Crime in New Jersey, I strongly recommend that you contact an experienced attorney who will protect your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact me today at 1-866-664-8118. I will provide you with a free initial consultation by phone or in person at either of my two conveniently located offices.

I am Anthony N. Palumbo of the firm Palumbo & Renaud, located on 190 North Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey 07016 and 740 Newark Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208. I represent individuals against Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Cocaine, Drug Distribution, Possession of Drugs in a Car, Prescription Theft Charges, and Drugs in a School Zone throughout New Jersey including Union County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Essex County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Hudson County, and Morris County.