Without a valid prescription, it is a crime to possess prescription medications. If you are found in possession of any of these or comparable medicines without a valid prescription, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor.
Prosecutors have the option of punishing anyone who possesses illegally obtained prescription drugs. In New Jersey, “unlawful possession of a controlled substance” is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county prison and a fine of up to $1,000 for illegally possessing prescription medications.
Pretrial diversion programs enable defendants in low-level drug possession charges to avoid prison time by completing an education or treatment programme instead of going to trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to assist a person in avoiding going to prison. Here’s more on it if one is arrested for stealing drugs.
Is It Illegal To Have A Controlled Substance In Your Possession?
A restricted substance in the United States is prescription medicine. As a result, the government has placed restrictions on how and when people may possess or transmit illegal narcotics if a doctor prescribes them. Prosecutors will aim to show three things if you are charged with drug possession without a legal prescription:
- That you had the substance in your hands.
- That you were aware that it was yours.
- That there was plenty of it for everyone to get his or her hands on.
Prosecutors will attempt to show that you possessed the drug in “actual, constructive, or joint” possession, depending on how you define “possession.” You must be able to prove to the police that you have just taken the drug to be considered in actual possession.
Constructive possession occurs when authorities detect the substance in a place you have some degree of control over (apartment, car, etc.). Drugs detected in a setting controlled by you and one or more other persons are referred to as “joint possession.”
The prosecution must also prove that you were aware of the prescription drug’s presence and that it was a restricted substance to win a conviction. A friend’s overnight visit to your flat may not be considered illegal if you didn’t realize that he had left drugs behind or if you assumed they were over-the-counter medications.
Legal Countermeasures against Prescription Drug Theft
In an illegal possession case, the prosecution will attempt to establish that you:
- If you had the prescribed medication in your possession, you would have taken it.
- The quantity exceeded the trace level.
As a result, depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may be able to mount a variety of various defenses in this kind of case.
Selling prescription medicines is the most severe felony under New Jersey’s restricted substance laws, and it may land you in jail if you’re caught in the process.
A year of probation or three, four, or five years in county prison are possible punishments for this crime, which is considered a felony, up to nine years if you crossed at least two county lines. This is why it is so important to have a criminal defense attorney on your side to assist you to develop a strong case against these allegations, which may be triggered by the presence of objects like scales, packing, or currency.