Possession of Certain Prescription Drugs (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24) – New Jersey Defense Attorney

Prescription Drugs  attorneyIt is illegal to carry any controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in anything other than the original container. The only exception to this rule is if you have no more than a 10-day supply and upon request of a police officer you present the name and address of the licensed practitioner who prescribed the substance or the pharmacist that provided it. You should always carry prescription drugs in the original container that you received from the pharmacy or doctor’s office.

A violation of this statute is a disorderly persons offense which results in a permanent criminal charge on your record, up to a $1,000.00 fine, and up to six months in the county jail. This is a serious crime. Contact a New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Conditional Discharge

Conditional discharge is a diversionary program available to first time drug offenders. A court may suspend further proceedings and place the defendant on supervisory treatment, sometimes ordering certain conditions to be met during supervisory treatment. Upon completion of supervisory treatment and any conditions, the charge is dismissed. The criminal charges against the defendant may be dismissed after a year of being placed on probation provided that defendant passes all administered drug tests and does not get arrested during the one-year period.

To be eligible for the conditional discharge defendant cannot have any prior drug conviction and never have been previously placed in a conditional discharge or pretrial intervention program. In addition, the defendant may not pose a danger to the community and the court must rule that the defendant will benefit while the public will be protected by defendant’s admittance into the program.

The court must suspend the defendant’s driver’s license from 6 months to 2 years after admittance into the conditional discharge program. However, if the defendant can prove a “hardship” if he or she loses the driver’s license, the court has discretion not to suspend the defendant’s driving privilege.

If the defendant is not eligible for conditional discharge and the charge cannot be dismissed, a New Jersey criminal defense attorney should try to negotiate a reduced charge of loitering for the purpose of obtaining drugs. This charge does not require the loss of driving privileges.

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