The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prescription Drug Offense in Monmouth County: Can I Be Arrested for Sharing My Prescription Drugs?

Since the “War on Drugs” began in the United States over three decades ago the laws and penalties for drug offenses throughout the country have become tougher and tougher. New Jersey is no exception. People typically think of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, or heroin when they think of drug offenses; however, you could face serious penalties for possessing, distributing, or trafficking in prescription drugs as well.

A generation or two ago it was not uncommon for someone to give a friend a pain pill from the medicine cabinet if the friend was in pain or a valium if the friend was experiencing stress. Today, helping a friend out like that could end up in a trip to jail with you facing felony drug charges.

Prescription Drug Offense in Monmouth County

Many prescription drugs are listed in the Controlled Substance Act, or CSA, passed in 1970. The CSA created five schedules with Schedule I including drugs with the highest potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use in the United States. The remaining schedules were devised based on a drug’s potential for abuse and medicinal value. Drugs such as heroin, peyote, and LSD are found in Schedule I. Many common prescription drugs are found in the remaining schedules. Fentanyl and oxycodone, both of which are prescribed for serious pain, are Schedule II drugs. Hydrocodone drugs can be found in Schedule III and drugs like Valium and Klonopin are listed in Schedule IV. Even prescription drugs for weight loss or cough suppressants may be listed in Schedule V.

Both state and federal laws prohibit the possession and sale of prescription drugs listed in the CSA. What many people fail to realize is that simply giving someone else a controlled substance can also be a crime. If your friend has recently suffered the loss of a loved one you may be tempted to give her one of your Valiums. Likewise, if a friend appears to have suffered a back injury and can’t get into the doctor until next week you may want to help by giving him some of your Vicodin. What you believe to be an act of friendship the law may view as a crime. In fact, you could even be arrested if you are found in possession of drugs for which you have a valid prescription if they are not in the correct prescription bottle. In short, you don’t have to be trafficking in large quantities of prescription drugs to end of facing criminal charges. The rule of thumb is to always carry your medication in the original bottle and never share with anyone.

If you have been charged with a prescription drug offense in Monmouth County contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to begin working on your defense.

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