Opioid Possession & Distribution Attorney in Hackensack, NJ
Lustberg Law Offices Ready and Able to Represent Clients Facing Oxycodone or Vicodin Possession & Distribution Charges
Over the past ten years, use of dangerous prescription opiates such as Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet, etc. have been on the rise in Hackensack and throughout New Jersey. Heroin used to be the preferred choice for opiate users in years past. However, in today’s society, prescription opiates have become increasingly prevalent, probably due to the feeling of justification that is typically associated with taking a prescription medication, like Vicodin, rather than a “street drug” like heroin or cocaine. This is because it is in fact legal to obtain a prescription for a powerful opiate via a physician, so it can feel less “dangerous” to use these drugs. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the purchase, possession and abuse of opiates without a valid prescription is a crime and carries significant potential penalties in New Jersey. Certain prescription opiates are Schedule II controlled substances under N.J.S.A.24:21-6 (i.e. the Controlled Substances Act). Due to the serious risk of death and addiction for people who use opiates without a prescription, the penalties for illegally possessing a prescription opiate in New Jersey can be quite severe. For example, if you are found in possession of a schedule I or schedule II narcotic, such as an opiate, you could be looking at serious criminal charges.
If you were arrested for possession, transportation, or sales of such opiates, you need an experienced opiate defense lawyer to fight for your rights. Hackensack opioid possession and distribution defense lawyer Adam Lustberg has over a decade of experience representing individuals accused of drug crimes. Mr. Lustberg will leave no stone unturned while defending you in your case. Depending on your situation, Mr. Lustberg will advise you as to the strength of the prosecutor’s case against you and the viability of particular defenses. Contact The Lustberg Law Offices for a no-cost, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and develop an effective plan to protect your rights.
Overview of New Jersey Opioids
Opioids have the ability to produce a morphine-like effect on your body and are usually prescribed to relieve bodily pain. The relief of pain can generate euphoric experience, which is often attributed for the attraction by recreational users. Types of opioids include, but are not limited to:
How are Opioids Regulated in Hackensack and Elsewhere in NJ?
In Hackensack and elsewhere in New Jersey, it is against the law to possess opiates for personal use without a valid prescription. The penalties for being in possession of an opiate often depends on the type and amount of the opiate involved in the alleged violation. Possession convictions can incur large monetary fines and significant periods of incarceration. This is why it makes sense to contact Hackensack opioid defense lawyer Adam Lustberg. He can review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the viability of specific defenses for your particular case. Contact The Lustberg Law Offices today to learn more.
Common Forms of Opioid Violations Include:
- Possessing an opiate without a valid prescription
- Fraudulent prescription
- Illegal possession of opioids
- Illegally distributing opioids
Overview of the Legal Penalties for Violating New Jersey Opioid Laws
Possession of a controlled substance charges in Hackensack, and elsewhere in NJ, are graded according to a specific, statutory schedule. For example, possession of a substance such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, oxycontin, etc. is a third-degree felony, which carries a potential prison term between three and five years. It also often results in monetary fine up to $35,000 fine. However, if this if your first offense, there is a presumption of non-imprisonment. Though, all drug charges in New Jersey carry a mandatory minimum six-month suspension of your driving privileges, regardless of whether drugs were found in your vehicle or not.
Overview of Opioid Possession and Distribution Charges in NJ
In 2017, the Governor of New Jersey signed a bill into law which limited most initial prescriptions of pain-killing opioids like Vicodin to five days. This law is generally considered to be the strictest in the United States. This indicates how serious New Jersey lawmakers consider opioid abuse to be. This 2017 law applies to improper use, possession and distribution of opioids. Opioid-related charges and penalties in NJ typically include:
- Possession of opioids without a valid prescription: This is a fourth-degree offense when you were found to be in possession of up to four dosages (pills or other units) illegally. It is a third-degree offense for five to 99 doses, and a second-degree crime for possession of more than 100.
- Illegal distribution: This includes selling and/or giving legally-obtained opioids to a third party. Distribution charges mimic oxycodone possession charges. They progress in degree and harshness according to the number of doses distributed.
- Obtaining opioids through deception, fraud, or misrepresentation: This is a third-degree criminal offense. This charge could be levied for (i) using a prescription written for someone else; (ii) forging an oxycodone prescription, such as on a stolen prescription form or pad or (iii) obtaining a prescription under a false identity.
- Possession or distributing large quantity of opioids: This is considered to be the most serious charge. It is a second-degree offense punishable by between five and ten years in jail and up to $300,000 in monetary fines. A third-degree offense is punishable by between three and five years in jail and up to $200,000 in fines. A fourth-degree offense exposes an individual to up to eighteen months in jail and up to $10,000 in monetary fines.
If you were charged with an opioid-related offense, you should know that there are several steps to the criminal process in NJ. An arrest or indictment does not automatically end in a guilty verdict. However, given the penalties and the consequences of an opioid-related offense on your record, conviction should be avoided at all costs.
With legal representation by Hackensack opioid defense attorney Adam Lustberg, you can be rest assured that all defenses will be explored in an effort to ensure you avoid harsh penalties or even a finding of guilt in an opioid possession, distribution or fraudulent prescription case.
When Does It Make Sense to Hire a Hackensack Drug Defense Lawyer for My Opioid Possession or Distribution Case?
Due the seriousness of the penalties associated with an opioid possession or distribution conviction, it would be in your best interest to retain The Lustberg Law Offices sooner rather than later. If you need to make an appearance in a criminal court, Mr. Lustberg will be able to offer you quality representation during this critical time. Contact The Lustberg Law Offices today for a free, confidential case evaluation.
Questions Commonly Asked About Possession & Distribution of Drugs Without a Valid Prescription
Q. Am I Breaking the Law If I Keep My Prescription Pills in Another Bottle?
A. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-24, you could actually be charged with a disorderly persons offense in NJ if you don’t keep prescription medication within the original container. The only caveat is that if you have no more than a ten-day supply of the medication and you are able to provide a police officer the name and address of the pharmacist or doctor that prescribed you the medication. Violating this statute will result in a disorderly persons offense, a permanent criminal record, up to $1,000.00 in fines and six months in county jail.
Q. What Could Happen If I Obtain a Prescription for an Opioid by Forging a Prescription?
A. If you acquire a prescription for an opioid through fraudulent means, you could be charged with a third-degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-13. The penalties for committing such an offense are severe including a fine of up to $50,000 and 3-5 years in prison, and your license can be suspended for a minimum of 6 months. In addition to that you can also be charged and prosecuted for a theft crime.