Essex County Possession and Distribution of Prescription Pills

If you have been arrested in Essex County, New Jersey for the possession or distribution of prescription pills you need to consider hiring an experienced Essex County Defense Attorney to assist you. Prescription pill offenses, especially distribution offenses, are very serious in New Jersey and a conviction can have severe, long-lasting consequences. At LS&P Lawyers we have decades of success representing individuals accused of prescription pill offenses.

Perhaps the most important factor in drug possession charges is quantity. The more weight the higher the degree of crime and therefore a higher degree of punishment. In New Jersey it is illegal to possess any prescription drugs or pharmaceutical medication without a valid prescription issued by a licensed physician or dentist. It is a 4th degree crime to knowingly possess, whether actually or constructively, a prescription drug in the amount of five or more dosage units. A conviction will result in up to 18 months in jail. It is a disorderly persons offense to knowingly possess four or fewer prescription drug dosage units. Even a disorderly persons conviction will result in up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The consequences of a possession conviction are severe. However, the consequences of an intent to distribute conviction are far more devastating.

The grading is as follows: It is unlawful for a person to distribute or possess or have under her control with the intent to distribute a prescription drug in the amount of:

  • 100 or more dosage units which constitutes 2nd degree crime with a maximum fine of up to $300,000 and 10 years in prison.
  • At least 5 but less than 100 dosage units constitutes a 3rd degree crime with a maximum fine of up to $200,000 and 5 years in prison.
  • 4 or fewer dosage units constitutes a 4th degree crime with up to 18 months in prison.

The key distinction between a possession charge and an intent to distribute charge is that in order to be convicted of possession with the intent to distribute the prosecutor must prove you had the intent to distribute (sell) the drugs. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, including the amount of drugs involved and the packaging (were the drugs in separate bags for sale or one container), a good defense attorney may be able to argue there was no intent to sell the drugs.

In addition, a skilled defense attorney will investigate all aspects of the case to determine if there are any 4th amendment issues. In order for the police to arrest you they must have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime. Here, probable cause to believe you are in possession of prescription drugs with the intent to distribute them. Or maybe the police had no right to stop you in the first place. An experienced criminal defense attorney can spot these issues and challenge the state’s case. If the search or seizure was illegal, the charges may be dropped altogether.

A conviction for possession of prescription drugs with the intent to distribute can have catastrophic consequences on your life. Even after serving a lengthy jail sentence and paying a large sum of fines, you will have a tarnished criminal record that can inhibit your life in more ways than you might think. A criminal record can make it difficult to obtain or keep employment, obtain credit or a loan, and to pursue educational opportunities, among other things. The best way to defeat these charges or at least avoid the harshest penalties is to have qualified counsel to represent you in court. At LS&P Lawyers our defense attorneys are diligent and relentless in providing unparalleled representation to our clients. We have years of experience protecting the rights of individuals throughout New Jersey courts. We provide exceptional representation for a fair price. Call us 24/7 to schedule a free initial consultation.