The theft of prescription drugs and doctor pads or ”blanks” has jumped as the opioid epidemic, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to be losing steam. Pharmaceutical drug theft and mishandling pose many risks, including a significant risk to the public and everyone’s general safety. It also creates a rise in crime. To combat this issue, New Jersey has implemented and further strengthened its laws, and pharmacies across the US are beefing up their security measures. Yet still, these thefts continue at pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and other places.

Prescription drug misuse impacts all Jersey communities and residents, from the suburbs to the cities. The crime is rooted in addiction, a disease that does not discriminate based on socioeconomic level, gender, or race.

Statistics show that over 16.3 million people are misusing prescription medication each year. Sedatives, stimulants, and Benzodiazepines are the most commonly abused prescribed drugs in the United States after opioids. Unfortunately, individuals consumed by the torments of a substance use disorder often find themselves resorting to theft, forgery, and fraud to acquire prescription meds.

Engaging a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer is pivotal when dealing with prescription theft cases of any kind, from the most minor to the most severe. The law has so many complexities within the applicable statutes. Potential defenses require special consideration and the eye of legal professionals with experience handling prescription drug offenses, such as prescription theft, possession, fraud, and forgery. Contact an attorney at 973-524-7238 for a free consultation.

Understanding Prescription Drug Theft Laws in New Jersey

Title 2C of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice furnishes a comprehensive body of law to battle the escalating issue and public health threats. The regulations touch upon various aspects of prescription drug-related transgressions and crimes, including theft, forgery, and fraud. The law characterizes prescription drug theft as the unauthorized acquisition of prescription pads, blanks, or forms, often leading to illicit medication procurement.

As a third degree offense, those convicted of prescription blank or pad theft can face fines of up to $100,000, potential license suspension, and prison time of up to 5 years.

In New Jersey, prosecutors have discretion in bringing prescription drug theft charges and may also file charges for prescription fraud and illegal possession of prescription drugs, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Prescription Theft Tactics and Legal Ramifications

There are different ways in which prescription theft happens, including stealing prescription pads, forging prescriptions, or using deceitful tactics to obtain controlled substances. Offenders may unlawfully obtain prescriptions from healthcare professionals and pharmacists. However, sometimes, individuals may target their family members, friends, work colleagues, and acquaintances.

Theft charges often accompany fraud charges in prescription-drug-related cases, and both carry profound legal repercussions. The former involves the physical act of stealing, while the latter is more deceptive to obtain.

Commonly Targeted Drugs

Prescription drug theft encompasses a range of medications, often falling into three main categories: opioids/narcotics/painkillers, depressants, and stimulants. The specific drugs targeted can vary, but they are typically highly addictive ones. These drugs, including by brand name, are Xanax and Klonopin or benzodiazepines, Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin or oxycodone, and Adderral, a stimulant frequently prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD).

Punishments and Diversion Programs for Prescription Theft in New Jersey

The Garden State imposes strict penalties for prescription theft, with the severity determined by factors like the value of stolen medications. Penalties can range from fines and short jail sentences for more minor thefts to substantial fines and lengthy prison terms for more significant offenses. The state is committed to combating the threat to public safety and health and deterring prescription drug-related crimes through the potential legal consequences they impose.

In some instances, diversionary options may be available for those facing prescription theft charges. These alternatives, such as Drug Court or the Pretrial Intervention Program, aim to address the root causes behind the unlawful behavior. These avenues also provide individuals with an opportunity for treatment rather than a strict punishment that mainly just addresses the symptoms of the disorder or addiction. They also offer a fresh start with a clean slate when it comes to your criminal record.

Charged with Theft of Prescription Pads, Blanks or Tablets in NJ? We can Help

Seeking legal counsel is imperative when facing prescription theft or fraud charges in Florham Park, East Hanover, Chatham, Randolph, Parsippany, Denville, and other towns around Morris County and New Jersey. It demands a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can be a strong advocate and someone in your corner with the knowledge to protect your rights. Contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney at 973-524-7238 or contact us online today for a complimentary and confidential consultation.