Paramus NJ Prescription Fraud Defense Attorneys
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Bergen County, New Jersey
If you have been accused of prescription fraud in New Jersey, we understand that this sort of thing can happen to anyone. Many times, a person who needs prescription medication simply runs out of pills at an inopportune time and cannot get a doctor to immediately refill the prescription. Other times, prescription fraud stems from an addiction to prescription drugs.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug-related offense in New Jersey, contact an experienced prescription and pharmaceutical fraud defense lawyer for help. The Tormey Law Firm has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the realm of drug-related criminal defense due to their regular work representing clients charged with offenses including possession of synthetic marijuana, prescription drug distribution, and forgery throughout New Jersey, including in Mahwah, Ridgefield Park, and Elmwood Park. Drug crimes in New Jersey can have severe consequences, resulting in heavy fines, serious jail time, lengthy periods of probation, and long-term suspension of your driving privileges. Do not put your freedom or your future at risk. With offices conveniently located in Hackensack, our attorneys are available immediately at (201)-330-4979 to assist you and to provide a free consultation about your case.
Obtaining Drugs by Fraud in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:35-13
Obtaining drugs through fraud is a third degree crime in New Jersey. The crime is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-13, which provides, in pertinent part:
§ 2C:35-13. Obtaining CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) by Fraud
It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge. It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a forged or fraudulent certificate of destruction required pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-21. A violation of this section shall be a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $50,000.00 may be imposed. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude or limit a prosecution for theft as defined in chapter 20 of this title.
Penalties for Prescription Fraud in New Jersey
As the above statute details, a charge for obtaining drugs by fraud is a third degree indictable offense in New Jersey. This is similar to a felony and will be handled in the Superior Court in the county in which the crime allegedly occurred. The penalties for this third degree crime can include:
- A fine of up to $50,000.00.
- Jail time of three (3) to five (5) years New Jersey State Prison.
- State-monitored probation.
- Driver’s license suspension for a minimum six (6) months.
- A permanent criminal charge on your record.
Typically, prescription fraud involves a person using a prescription blank, pad, or tablet to obtain medication that has not actually been prescribed by a doctor. Less common is the practice of “doctor shopping,” which involves frequently switching doctors in order to obtain additional prescriptions. Some of the drugs obtained through prescription fraud include Xanax, OxyContin, Valium, Vicodin, Adderall, Percocet, Morphine, and Methadone.
Will I go to Jail for Prescription Fraud?
If you’ve been charged with prescription fraud, you are most likely wondering if you will go to jail for this crime. Since prescription fraud is a non-violent crime and it is classified as a third degree criminal offense, judges have a lot of leeway when it comes to sentencing defendants in these cases. There is a presumption of non-incarceration for this kind of offense, so courts can offer eligible defendants a means for getting their charges dismissed as part of a diversionary program or another alternative sentencing option. One such option is known as Pretrial Intervention (PTI), which is a diversionary program open to defendants with no prior criminal convictions. If you have no prior criminal record, you may be eligible for admission into a diversionary program like Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI).
Assuming that you are granted admission into the PTI program, your charges will essentially be put on hold while you go through rehabilitation and meet other requirements imposed by the court. This could include attending drug counseling sessions, meeting with court administrators and other officials, and submitting to random drug tests. You will also be required to stay out of legal trouble during this probationary period. Assuming that you successfully complete the PTI program to the court’s satisfaction, the charges against you will be dismissed.
Even if you aren’t eligible eligible for PTI, there are effective defenses available to a prescription fraud charge. In addition, prescription drug charges and other crimes related to drug use and abuse may be resolved by way of Drug Court. This option exists even for those charged with higher level indictable offenses and those with past criminal convictions. Although intensive and relatively long in terms of the program’s duration, completing Drug Court entitles you to have your charges dismissed and your entire criminal record automatically expunged at the program’s close.
Contact our Bergen County NJ Prescription Drug Crime Defense Lawyers
The penalties for prescription fraud in New Jersey can be very severe. These penalties can be levied against a defendant who is also charged with other related crimes, meaning that you could be facing additional penalties for forgery, illegal prescription drug possession, or another offense. With consequences of this magnitude hanging in the balance, it is imperative that you contact an experienced drug crimes defense lawyer to represent you. Contact the criminal trial team at The Tormey Law Firm, with offices in Hackensack, New Jersey anytime at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation about your charges.