Discarding Hypodermic Needle or Syringe (N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6.1) – New Jersey Defense Attorney

Defense AttorneyA person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if:

  • The person discards, in a place accessible to other persons, a hypodermic needle or syringe without destroying the hypodermic needle or syringe; or
  • The person is the owner, lessee, or person in control of real property and, knowing that needles and syringes in an intact condition have been discarded or abandoned on his real property, allows them to remain.

A hypodermic needle is destroyed if the needle is broken from the hub or mangled. A syringe is destroyed if the nipple of the barrel is broken from the barrel, or the plunger and barrel are melted. Alternatively, a hypodermic needle or syringe is destroyed if it is discarded as a single unit, without recapping, into a rigid container and the container is destroyed by grinding or crushing in a compactor, or by burning in an incinerator, or by another method approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
A New Jersey criminal defense attorney can advise you about your rights regarding discarding hypodermic needles or syringes.

The proper way to discard of a syringe or needle is to:

  • Clip the end of the needle with a needle clipper.
  • Place it in a rigid container, such as a laundry detergent bottle or a 2-liter soda bottle.
  • Label the container with a warning, such as “Syringes: Do Not Recycle.”
  • Seal the bottle with duct tape.
  • Dispose of the bottle in the garbage, not the recycling bin.

Suggestions by legal scholars and analysts have been made to change the law regarding improper discarding of hypodermic needles. By exposing an intravenous drug user to arrest, this law, along with laws requiring syringe prescription and banning the possession of drug paraphernalia, could have an impact on the willingness of an intravenous drug user to retain a used syringe for proper disposal.

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