Asbury Park NJ Possession of Prescription Drugs Defense Lawyers
Possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription can lead to serious consequences in New Jersey. Charges for possession of prescription drugs can vary in terms of severity based on the number of units or pills associated with the alleged offense. For example, an individual who allegedly possesses four or fewer units/pills of prescription drugs will typically be charged with a disorderly persons offense, while a person accused of unlawfully possessing five or more units/pills will generally face fourth degree felony charges.
Among the critical distinctions between disorderly persons offenses and felony-level crimes under State law, these charges are adjudicated in different levels of the court system. Specifically, a disorderly persons offense will be heard at the local Municipal Court, while felony-level charges will be tried in the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. In addition, the penalties for a disorderly persons offense may include a 6-month term of imprisonment in the county jail, while a fourth-degree felony conviction is punishable by an 18-month NJ State Prison sentence. However, both of these offenses will result in a charge on the defendant’s criminal record if he or she is ultimately found guilty.
Fortunately, the attorneys at Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington have accumulated a wealth of experience defending clients accused of a unlawfully possessing prescription drugs in New Jersey. As a result, they can often facilitate their clients’ enrollment in diversionary programs such as Conditional Discharge in Municipal Court cases and the Pretrial Intervention Program in Superior Court cases, which will ultimately result in the dismissal of the drug charges if the program is successfully completed.
Combining knowledge, experience, and compassion for their clients, Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington is a law firm dedicated to every citizen’s right to a vigorous defense. Contact them today at 732-440-3950 or toll free at 888-328-9131 to discuss your case.
Possession of Prescription Drugs in Monmouth County: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5
All crimes related to the Possession, Possession With Intent to Distribute, and Distribution of Prescription Drugs are addressed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5. According to this statute, an individual can be charged with possession of prescription drugs if they are allegedly in “actual” or “constructive” possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription. Actual vs. constructive possession can be distinguished according to the following conditions:
- Actual Possession: the defendant is in physical possession of prescription drugs at the time of his or her arrest (i.e. it is discovered in his or her pocket)
- Constructive Possession: the defendant did not have physical possession of the prescription drugs at the time of his or her arrest but was aware of the location of the prescription drugs and was in a position to exercise control over the substance (i.e. it is found in the trunk of his or her vehicle)
Specifically, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5. sets forth:
A person who knowingly possesses, actually or constructively:
- A prescription drug in an amount of four or fewer units (pills) is a disorderly person;
- A prescription drug in an amount of five or more units (pills) is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
Penalties for Possession of Prescription Drugs in New Jersey
Possession of Prescription Drugs as a Disorderly Persons Offense: maximum sentence of 6 months to be served in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, a $500 DEDR penalty, and a $50 laboratory fee.
Possession of Prescription Drugs as a Fourth Degree Crime: maximum sentence of 18 months to be served in New Jersey State Prison, a fine of up to $10,000, a $750 DEDR penalty, and a $50 laboratory fee.
Contact Middletown NJ Prescription Drug Possession Lawyers
For additional information as to how these Monmouth County possession of prescription drug defense attorneys can assist you or someone you love in combating the State’s case and delivering the best chance of success, contact the West Long Branch, New Jersey office of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington at 732-440-3950 or toll free at 888-328-9131.