Morris County NJ Possession and Distribution of Vicodin Lawyer
Prescription Drug Defense Lawyers with Offices in Morristown, NJ
Vicodin is a widely used painkiller. More often than not, a person who has been legally prescribed Vicodin following surgery will find himself or herself addicted to the drug after the prescription has been exhausted. Vicodin is considered to be the “biggest gateway drug of today’s youth” because of its easy availability and the high propensity for addiction for first-time users.
Since Vicodin is so widely used, NJ prosecutors will not hesitate to seek the maximum punishments in Possession and Distribution of Vicodin cases. Being arrested by the police is a scary and frustrating experience. Once released, there is more at stake than just jail time; your career, immigration status, family, friends, and reputation may all hang in the balance. An experienced NJ drug crime defense lawyer can help you.
The Tormey Law Firm can help you potentially beat your prescription drug charges. Our trial team of aggressive criminal and drug defense lawyers includes an active NJ prosecutor with extensive experience handling drug crime cases. If you are facing the threat of investigation or imminent criminal charges for Vicodin possession or distribution, contact the Tormey Law Firm today for a free consultation. One of our respected NJ drug crime defense attorneys will be happy to speak to you, discuss your potential exposure, and explore the best defense strategies for your case. Contact our Morristown office today at 866-949-6948.
Vicodin Charges in New Jersey
Vicodin contains a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. It is known by the brand names of “Vicodin,” “Anexsia,” “Lortab,” “Lorcet,” “Norco,” and “Zydone.” Vicodin’s main active ingredient, Hydrocodone, works by blocking the receptors on key nerve cells in the brain that give rise to sensations of pain. Hydrocodone is considered to be a opioid narcotic, analgesic (pain-reliever) and a cough suppressant, similar to codeine.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to carry prescription drugs and certain medications unless you hold a valid prescription. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5, possession and/or distribution of Vicodin is prohibited unless carried out by a licensed physician, dentist, veterinarian, or pharmacist. As set forth by the Controlled Substance Act, Hydrocodone (Vicodin) can be classified as either a Schedule II or Schedule III controlled dangerous substance (CDS), depending on the dosage. Hydrocodone products containing 15mg of hydrocodone per dose are Schedule II substances, while products like cough syrup are Schedule III substances. Schedule II drugs have an accepted medical use but a high potential for abuse that can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Schedule II drugs are the most powerful drugs which can be legally prescribed in the United States. The penalties for possession or distribution of Vicodin vary, depending on the number of pills that are seized.
First Degree: Vicodin Possession with Intent to Distribute, Distribution
The most serious charge is first degree intent to distribute Vicodin. If a person is caught selling more than 100 Vicodin pills, he or she could be looking at a term of imprisonment of between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Second Degree: Vicodin Possession, Possession with Intent to Distribute, Distribution
Another extremely serious Vicodin charge is second degree intent to distribute Vicodin. A prosecutor can bring this charge if the offender possessed 100 or more pills and did so for financial gain. If convicted of this charge, you could be looking at five (5) to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, with a presumption of incarceration. Additionally, a conviction could result in a $300,000 fine.
Third Degree: Vicodin Possession, Possession with Intent to Distribute, Distribution
In New Jersey, possession of between five (5) and 99 Vicodin pills without a valid prescription is classified as a third degree crime. If you are convicted of third degree possession of Vicodin, you could be sentenced to between three (3) and five (5) years in NJ State Prison and fined up to $200,000.
Fourth Degree: Vicodin Possession, Possession with Intent to Distribute, Distribution
If you possess four (4) or fewer Vicodin pills, it is classified as a fourth degree felony. This is punishable by up to 18 months in state prison.
Disorderly Persons Offense: Vicodin Possession
As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24, possession of four (4) or fewer pills is a disorderly persons offense. This means that if you are caught with a pill outside the bottle or container in which it was dispensed, you may be charged with disorderly persons possession of Vicodin. Additionally, simply being under the influence of Vicodin in public without a valid prescription can be a disorderly persons offense. If convicted of this charge, you could face up to six (6) months in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Disorderly Persons Offense: Failure to Turn Over Vicodin to a Police Officer
Another related charge is failure to turn over Vicodin to a law enforcement officer. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c), failing to turn over drugs to police is considered a disorderly persons offense. Often, this will be a downgraded charge that prosecutors use in a Vicodin case. If convicted of this charge, you could be looking at up to six (6) months in the county jail, a $1,000 fine, and suspension of your driver’s license for at least six (6) months.
Contact our Madison NJ Vicodin Lawyers for a Free Consultation
There are viable defenses available to a Vicodin charge. Our drug defense lawyers are fully prepared to examine the circumstances of your arrest and undermine the validity of the police search. If the search was conducted illegally, then the entire case against you could be thrown out. It is also possible that if you’ve been arrested on Vicodin charges, you may be eligible for a diversionary program such as the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program or the conditional discharge program, depending on your prior record and the degree of your charges.
Call the experienced drug defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm anytime 24/7 for a telephone consultation toll-free at 866-949-6948, or you can use the online contact form to schedule an appointment. A member of our criminal defense team will be happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with an honest assessment of your case.