Prescription Drug Law | N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5

     Prescription Drug possession in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5.  This law is relavent only to prescription drugs (without a prescription), and not with other illicit drugs such as Marijuana, or other wholly Illegal Drugs.  NJ’s prescription drug laws are slightly more forgiving as for those other drugs.   Even so, thousands of peoples lives are ruined every year by being caught selling or merely possessing prescription drugs.  If you have been charged with drug possession in NJ, our Experienced Prescription Drug Possession Defense Attorney's are the best in the State and will fight to keep you safe!  

      Getting charged for Drug Possession in NJ, can cost you prison time, finesdriver’s license suspension, and a criminal record.  With over 40 years Experience as a Former Judge, Former Prosecutor, and Criminal Defense Lawyer, the Attorney's of Avery & Avery are your front line of defense if you have been charged with any criminal offense in NJ.  For a free consultation, we invite you to contact our criminal defense team, at 201-943-2445.

     The following is a copy of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5, New Jersey's Statute governing the criminal penalties regarding prescription drug possession:

A person who knowingly:

(1) distributes a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of four or fewer dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian , dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medicationis a disorderly person;

(2) distributes for pecuniary gain or possesses or has under his control with intent to distribute for pecuniary gain a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of four or fewer dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree;

(3) distributes or possesses or has under his control with intent to distribute a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of at least five but fewer than 100 dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is guilty of a crime of the third degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J. S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $200,000 may be imposed; or

(4) distributes or possesses or has under his control with intent to distribute a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of 100 or more dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $300,000 may be imposed.

Notwithstanding the above, a violation of paragraph (1) or (3) of this subsection shall be deemed a de minimis infraction subject to dismissal pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:2-11 if the person demonstrates that the conduct involved no more than six dosage units distributed within a 24-hour period, that the prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation was lawfully prescribed for or administered to that person by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication, and that the person intended for the amount he distributed to be solely for the recipient's personal use.

b. A person who uses any prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation for a purpose other than treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is a disorderly person.

c. A defendant may be convicted for a violation of subsection b. if the State proves that the defendant manifested symptoms or reactions caused by the use of prescription legend drugs or stramonium preparation. The State need not prove which specific prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation the defendant used.

d. A person who obtains or attempts to obtain possession of a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation by forgery or deception is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude or limit a prosecution for theft as defined in chapter 20 of Title C of the New Jersey Statutes.

e. A person who knowingly possesses, actually or constructively:

(1) a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of four or fewer dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is a disorderly person; or

(2) a prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in an amount of five or more dosage units unless lawfully prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Notwithstanding the above, a violation of this subsection shall be deemed a de minimis infraction subject to dismissal pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:2-11 if the person demonstrates that he unlawfully received no more than six dosage units within a 24-hour period, that the prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation was lawfully prescribed for or administered to the person from whom he had received it, and that the person possessed the prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation for solely for his personal use.

f. Where the degree of the offense for violation of this section depends on the number of dosage units of the prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation, the number of dosage units involved shall be determined by the trier of fact. Where the indictment or accusation so provides, the number of dosage units involved in individual acts of distribution or possession with intent to distribute may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, whether distribution is to the same person or several persons, provided that each individual act of distribution or possession with intent to distribute was committed within the applicable statute of limitations.

g. Subsections a. and e. of this section shall not apply to: a licensed pharmacy, licensed pharmacist, researcher, wholesaler, distributor, manufacturer, warehouseman or his representative acting within the line and scope of his employment; a physician, veterinarian, dentist or other practitioner authorized by law to prescribe medication; a nurse acting under the direction of a physician; or a common carrier or messenger when transporting such prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation in the same unbroken package in which the prescription legend drug or stramonium preparation was delivered to him for transportation.

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