Resolving Prescription Drug Charges in Ocean and Monmouth Counties
If you need legal advice about an arrest related to opioids or other prescription drugs, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. We offer highly skilled, experienced, and practical advice and representation to local residents as well as visitors from other states. Our goal in all cases is to resolve the charges on the most favorable terms possible.
Founded in 1996, our law firm combines a thorough understanding of New Jersey criminal law and procedure with a deep familiarity with the courts, communities, and treatment resources of the Jersey Shore. We give our clients a good idea of what to expect throughout the case, and we can show most clients a variety of paths toward a favorable resolution of their legal problems. Once you have a thorough understanding of your situation in legal and practical terms, you'll be able to make good decisions for yourself in a difficult situation. Then we go to work to cut your legal problems down to size.
The Drugs Most Frequently Associated with Prescription Drug Charges
Criminal cases involving prescription drugs, such as fentanyl, oxycodone, and Xanax, have sharply increased in recent years as the abuse of these drugs has skyrocketed. Of all New Jersey counties, Monmouth County had the second highest number of overdose deaths in 2015, and the curve doesn't seem to be bending downward. Here's a look at the three most deadly prescription drugs that have plagued our area in recent years:
Accounting for about 90 New Jersey overdose deaths in 2012-13, abuse of this powerful opioid painkiller has exploded in the last few years. In 2014, fentanyl killed 142 people statewide, but it claimed 417 lives in New Jersey in 2015 — an increase of about 300 percent in three years. Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, and it acts so fast that some bodies are found with a needle still in the arm. Prescribed in surgery cases as a last resort in patch or lollipop form, it turns up on the street as a powder or pill, and it's sometimes mixed with or sold as heroin. One of the reasons why so many people die of fentanyl overdose is because users think they're injecting much weaker heroin.
Better known under the trade name OxyContin, this Schedule II drug resembles morphine in its effects. In 2015, oxycodone killed 302 people statewide and 66 people in Ocean and Monmouth counties, despite a 2010 reformulation of the drug intended to make it more difficult and less attractive for abuse. OxyContin is often sold illegally with other drugs, especially Xanax, as a drug cocktail.
Also known generically as alprazolam, this sedative is the most widely prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States. Used for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, or panic disorder, Xanax is not especially lethal but it is highly addictive. It's also very popular among teens and young people. One study found that 70 percent of addicted teens obtained the drug from the family medicine cabinet. When obtained on the street, it is sometimes mixed with the far more deadly fentanyl.
How can an experienced lawyer help with your prescription drug charges?
Our goal as defense attorneys is to minimize your exposure to punishment on prescription drug possession and abuse charges. Unauthorized possession or distribution of the prescription drugs discussed here is a crime of the third degree, which is normally handled as an indictable offense in superior court.
As a practical matter, judges and prosecutors are more interested in getting defendants help for substance abuse problems than they are in sending them to jail. Treatment goes a long way in defending a case. Our experience helps you get the most out of your opportunity for treatment while minimizing your exposure to punishment.
Pretrial intervention leading to eventual dismissal of the charges against you is frequently an option for first offenders facing prescription drug possession charges. In more serious cases, or when a prior record keeps you from qualifying for pretrial intervention, drug court in Monmouth or Ocean county can also serve as a useful alternative, but it's easier to get into a drug court program than it is to stay in one.
If you're facing a more serious indictable offense and have priors making it more likely that you will face prison upon conviction, our defense attorneys will make an exhaustive review of any weakness in the case against you in order to protect your interests. As former prosecutors and law clerks, we know just what the state needs to prove against you and how difficult that sometimes can be. We also know how to attack the circumstances of a traffic stop, a warrantless search, or the execution of a defective search warrant.
Call 732-800-2980 for Help with Fentanyl, OxyContin or Xanax Charges in New Jersey
An arrest on opioid charges represents a serious crisis for you and your family, and your legal problems might not be the biggest ones you face. The defense attorneys of Villani & DeLuca have helped many people in your situation, and we can help you, too. Call our office for a free consultation about your legal and personal options.