Taking prescription medication is something that many people in New Jersey do in order to maintain their health. While these prescriptions in and of themselves are not inherently illegal, laws do exist against individuals possessing prescription medication without a valid prescription or in amounts that exceed their prescription.
If authorities find you or a loved one in possession of a prescription drug without valid reason, you could face serious criminal charges. It is also important to note that you could face misdemeanor or felony charges if you have a valid prescription but possess the substance without proof of that prescription. Law enforcement takes drug possession seriously, and in the event that such charges come against you, preparing thoroughly may be of use to you.
Why is prescription drug possession illegal?
Though the drugs themselves may not be illegal to take in a general medical sense, most prescription medications are illegal to possess without a doctor’s approval and recommendation. Many medications have serious side effects, including possible addiction, that could seriously harm a person if taken incorrectly or without proper supervision. In particular, opioids have a high risk of addiction, and abuse of such drugs have reached epidemic levels throughout the United States. In efforts to curb such abuse, laws are in place for managing the use of these medications.
What issues could result from possession?
The exact outcomes of a charge for prescription drug possession vary from case to case. However, financial penalties, as well as time in jail, are not unheard of in such cases. In fact, such outcomes are common. Still, your exact case will depend on a variety of factors, including the following examples:
- The amount of the substance in your possession
- Whether authorities suspect you obtained the substance through illegal means
- Whether authorities suspect you of distributing the substance
- The type of prescription involved
Fully understanding the specifics of your case could help you as you work toward creating a meaningful defense. Though criminal charges for drug possession may seem bleak, you are not without options. Possibly, a thorough assessment of your situation may uncover details that could help lessen the charges or even have them dropped completely. However, such outcomes are not a guarantee, so exploring your available defense strategies that suit the circumstances of your case may prove best.