Were you in possession of Percocet, Xanax, Valium, Oxycodine or any other prescription drug and now facing criminal charges?
Prescription drugs, also referred to in New Jersey statures as “Prescription Legend Drugs” are illegal to possess if they were not lawfully obtained via a prescription, in your name by a licensed doctor and a pharmacy. It may not seem like a big deal if your mother gives you a few Ambien because you can’t sleep but being in possession of just one pill could have you facing a criminal charge. Prescription drugs have the same legal restrictions as illegal narcotics including possession and distribution. In recent years prescription drugs have increasingly been abused more than “recreational” drugs like cocaine, heroin or marijuana. If you are stopped by the police in Seaside Heights and have any prescription pills you may be charged with drug possession.
Possession of certain prescription drugs – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24 In Ocean County
Sometimes we do things that we don’t even realize could possibly be a crime. For example if you are stopped in Lacey by the police and upon their search they find an Altoids tin filled with random prescription pills that were legally obtained and prescribed in your name, you may also be hit with a drug possession charge. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24 if you have been given a legally attained prescription medicine it should be left in the container in which it was given to you by the pharmacist. You should never keep more than a 10 day supply in any other container because the police may take this as a sign that you are planning to sell the medication.
DWI While on Prescription Medication or Over the Counter Drug
Unlike many other states which refer to driving under the influence of drugs (DUI) under a separate statute, New Jersey’s Driving while Intoxicated (“DWI”) is defined in N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which includes driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol under the same statute. In New Jersey, prescription drugs as well as some over-the-counter drugs, are included in the legal definition of narcotics. If you are charged with a DWI after using prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were in the driver’s blood stream at the time of the arrest and that the individual’s driving was affected by the medication. Often these cases begin when an officer sees pill bottles in a defendant’s automobile or in a defendant’s purse while looking for or showing the driver’s license after being stopped for a basic motor vehicle infraction. If a police officer suspects the driver of DWI by way of medication and finds the medication or the defendant otherwise admits to the use or ingestion prior to driving, the officer will likely request field sobriety testing to determine whether the individual appears to be impaired. In addition, if the driver does not have a valid prescription or if the pills are not in their proper container there may be additional criminal charges.
What are the Benefits of Having a DRE Trained Attorney Represent Me in a Prescription Drug DWI
The state will use a DRE (DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERT a/k/a DRUG RECOGNITION EVALUATOR) officer in most cases involving a prescription drug DWI. A DRE is a specially trained police officer with training in the assessment of whether an individual is under the influence of drugs, and if so, what type or class of drug. We in the defense bar believe this to be total junk science and most cases we see show that the DRE made his/her conclusions match up with the admissions of the defendant or what was found in the car. A defendant tells the police officer they took valium before driving the car the DRE reaches a conclusion that the individual was under the influence of a depressant at the time of the incident. Villani & DeLuca, P.C., partner and founding member, Carmine R. Villani, Esq., has received DRE training to better understand the methods used by the DRE’s. This training has proven invaluable in the defense of prescription and other driving under the influence cases.
Our attorneys have worked with individuals throughout New Jersey to fight the charge of possession of a prescription drug and driving under the influence of a prescription medication. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. to discuss your options for fighting charges relating to prescription drugs.
Possession of Prescription Drugs is a serious charge that could have long lasting effects on your life. Whether you live in Barnegat, Lavallette, Ocean Township or other areas in and around Ocean County we are here to help. Call 732-820-1256 today for a FREE consultation.