I often represent clients charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs, prescription drug possession with intent to distribute, prescription fraud, and prescription forgery.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to carry prescription drugs and certain medications unless a valid prescription is held. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5 possession and/or distribution of prescription drugs is prohibited unless it is carried out by a licensed physician, dentist, veterinarian or pharmacist. Specifically, the statute makes it a disorderly persons offense to knowingly possess, actually or constructively, any prescription drug in an amount of four or fewer dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medicine. Also, if a defendant is found to have that same small amount and is considered to have an intent to distribute those prescription drugs, that will be graded as a fourth degree criminal offense in New Jersey. If a defendant has a higher quantity of at least five but fewer than 100 units and an intent to distribute, the charge will be a third degree offense. Under a third degree offense a fine upwards of $200,000.00 can be imposed upon the defendant. An amount of 100 prescription pills or more with the requisite intent to distribute will be considered a second degree offense. A fine up to $300,000 may be imposed for a second degree offense.
These charges apply to certain prescription medications including:
Is it illegal to keep my prescription pills outside the original container?
Yes, under N.J.S.A. § 2C:35-24, you cannot have any controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in any other than the original container, UNLESS you have no more than a 10 day supply and upon request of a police officer present the name and address of the licensed practitioner who prescribed the substance or pharmacist that provided it. A violation of this statute is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey which results in a permanent criminal charge on your record, up to a $1,000.00 fine, and up to six (6) months in the county jail if convicted.