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Prescription Drug Charges

Defense Attorney for Prescription Drug Possession and Distribution in Middletown, New Jersey

Monmouth County NJ Prescription Drug Charges Lawyer
Courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The use and abuse of prescription drugs has skyrocketed since the 1990’s, as doctors prescribe more and more of these powerful medications to treat a vast array of physical, psychological, and behavioral conditions. With the increasing prevalence of prescription medications, the abuse of these substances has increased accordingly, particularly among young people. In fact, recent research indicates that prescription medications, such as those used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders, and anxiety, are currently among the most abused drugs in the United States. Due to the highly addictive nature of many of these medications, users go to great lengths to attain these substances, often committing associated crimes such as theft of prescription drugs or prescription pads, prescription drug forgery, or prescription drug fraud. New Jersey outlaws all of these offenses, as well as the unlawful possession and distribution of prescription drugs, and enforces strict penalties against those convicted of these crimes.

Criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow has successfully defended thousands of clients charged with drug crimes in Middletown, Red Bank, Howell, Ocean Township, and throughout Monmouth County, New Jersey. With ten years of knowledge and experience, including service as a public defender and criminal judicial law clerk, Ms. Breslow has learned the New Jersey Criminal Justice System from the inside-out. She utilizes this unique insight to construct the most effective defense strategies that position her clients from the best possible outcomes. When she takes on a case, Ms. Breslow conducts a thorough investigation to spot procedural errors, inadmissible evidence, and other potential grounds for a dismissal. When a dismissal is an unlikely outcome, she negotiates for downgraded charges, lesser sentences, and enrollment in diversionary programs such as Drug Court and Pre-Trial Intervention, which allow her clients to avoid prison and charges on their criminal records. If you have been charged with a drug crime, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow in Monmouth County for a cost-free consultation. Ms. Breslow will take the time to learn about your situation, answer your questions, and outline all of your available options.

Prescription Drug Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5

The most commonly abused prescription medications in the U.S. are opioids, which are typically prescribed to treat pain; central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are generally prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders; and stimulants, which are usually prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, New Jersey law defines a prescription drug as “any substance which under Federal or State law requires dispensing by prescription or order of a licensed physician, veterinarian or dentist.”

Prescription Drug Charges in Municipal Court

Section N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5 of the New Jersey Criminal Code governs offenses for possession and distribution of prescription drugs. Under this statute, possession of 4 or fewer units or pills of a prescription drug, or distribution of 4 or fewer units or pills of a prescription drug for no financial gain, is considered a disorderly persons offense, which is punishable by a sentence to serve up to 6 months in the county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

For first-time drug offenders, these cases may be resolved through enrollment in the Conditional Discharge Program, which involves completion of a probationary period after which the charges are dismissed entirely. You can only complete Conditional Discharge one time in your life, but doing so allows you to avoid a conviction on your criminal record.

Prescription Drug Charges in Superior Court

Prescription drug charges become more serious when the offense involves distribution for financial gain. As far as distribution is concerned, distribution or possession of 4 or fewer units or pills with intent to distribute for financial gain is a fourth degree crime, punishable by a sentence to serve up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison. Distribution or possession of between 5 and 100 units or pills with intent to distribute is a third degree crime, punishable by a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Lastly, distribution or possession of 100 or more units or pills with intent to distribute is a second degree crime, which may result in a sentence to serve between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $300,000.

Second degree charges for prescription drug distribution entail a presumption of incarceration, meaning that even first-time drug offenders are subject to mandatory prison time. On the other hand, third and fourth degree crimes are associated with a presumption of non-incarceration, meaning that first-time drug offenders may be considered good candidates for probation, Drug Court, or Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). Under certain circumstances, it is possible to negotiate for a downgraded charge that increases your opportunity for enrollment in a diversionary program. Drug Court also serves as an alternative option for drug offenders who are charged with non-violent offenses and who do not have prior convictions for violent crimes.

Contact an Asbury Park NJ Prescription Drug Charges Attorney Today

If you or someone you love has been charged with possession or distribution of prescription drugs, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow for a free initial consultation. Ms. Breslow regularly represents clients in Asbury Park, Toms River, Red Bank, and throughout Monmouth County. Let her help you build your best defense.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.