Is It Illegal to Possess Certain Drugs Without a Valid Prescription in New Jersey?

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Narcotics and other controlled substances can have dangerous and lethal effects. Their strength and potential to cause irreparable damage is why there are strict laws surrounding the prescription and distribution of certain substances. It is illegal to possess certain drugs without a valid prescription in New Jersey. If you are being charged with possession of controlled dangerous substances, contact a Mercer County drug crime lawyer to learn more about your rights and obtain legal representation.

Is It Illegal in NJ to Possess Drugs Not Prescribed to You?

Under New Jersey state law, it is illegal to carry a prescription drug or other medication without possessing a valid prescription. It is also illegal to sell or distribute prescription medication without being a licensed pharmacist, physician, dentist, or similar medical practitioner who is legally allowed to do so. You can be convicted of a crime for illegally possessing a controlled substance, intending to distribute it, actually distributing it, or even having it on your property such as in your car. It is also illegal to switch the container of a prescription drug even if it was legally prescribed to you.

What Are the Penalties For Possessing Drugs Without a Valid Prescription?

New Jersey law does not use the terms “felony” or “misdemeanor” to categorize crimes. Instead, they are called an “indictable crime” or “disorderly persons offense,” respectively. If you are caught illegally possessing or distributing prescription drugs, you can be met with severe consequences. You can be found guilty if you knowingly obtain or possess a controlled dangerous substance without a valid prescription from a medical professional. Some penalties include the following.

Obtaining or possessing four or fewer doses of a drug which you do not have a prescription for:

  • Disorderly persons offense
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Jail time up to 6 months

Obtaining or possessing four or fewer doses of a drug which you do not have a prescription for with the intent to distribute it:

  • Fourth-degree indictable crime
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Jail time up to 18 months

Obtaining or possessing five to 99 doses of a drug which you do not have a prescription for with the intent to distribute it:

  • Third-degree indictable crime
  • Fines up to $200,000
  • Jail time of 3 to 5 years

Obtaining or possessing 100 or more doses of a drug which you do not have a prescription for with the intent to distribute it:

  • Second-degree indictable crime
  • Fines up to $300,000
  • Jail time of 5 to 10 years

Each of these convictions will also be accompanied by a slew of other penalties which can include probation, mandatory community service, mandatory rehabilitation, additional fees, and more. You will also have a criminal record which can be a detriment to your quality of life. You may find it more difficult to obtain employment or rent a home with a criminal record.

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