Vicodin, Oxycodone & Roxicodone Possession Lawyer
While many people consider prescription drugs as being in a different category than marijuana, heroin, cocaine and other illegal “street drugs,” the reality is that illegally using, possessing or distributing certain types of medications can carry serious criminal penalties in New Jersey. Those prescription drugs which are tightly regulated include opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycodone and Roxicodone. As a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer with more than 15 years of experience with representing people against prescription drug charges throughout the state, attorney Jason A. Volet knows how important it is to have someone acting as a strong ally on your side. Jason has handled more than 2,000 cases as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, and he is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a criminal trial attorney. He can put his knowledge and experience to work for you today. Call or reach us online now for a consultation.
Opioid Use in New Jersey
Opioids are a class of drugs that are either derived from the opium poppy plant or made from the same chemical structure, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Doctors primarily prescribe opioids for pain relief. However, because they can cause a user to experience a highly relaxed feeling, or “high,” they are often used for non-medical reasons and abused. The opioids which are most commonly abused in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. include:
- Vicodin (hydrocodone)
- OxyContin (oxycodone)
- Roxicodone (oxycodone hydrochloride)
Opioids are controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in New Jersey. Under N.J.S. § 24:21-6, they are classified as Schedule II narcotics. Substances which have commonly accepted medical uses but are also extremely addictive and have a high potential for misuse and abuse fall into this classification. Roxicodone is a medication that has become increasingly popular in the illegal drug trade. Roxicodone is often mistaken for OxyContin. However, important differences exist in these pharmaceuticals. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), both medications contain oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opioid. While OxyContin is time-released in the body, Roxicodone impacts the user almost immediately and can provide a quicker and more immediate “high.” Users likely require more of them, particularly once they become addicted. According to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, opioid addiction is a growing epidemic in our state. The public knows it, too. They see the impact of these drugs on their communities, including overdoses and deaths. Police and prosecutors feel the pressure, as a result, to deal harshly with anyone who is involved with the unlawful use, possession or distribution of opioids.
What Are the Penalties for Possession or Distribution of Opioids in New Jersey?
In 2017, then-Governor Chris Christie signed a law limiting initial prescriptions for opioid medications to five days. According to NJ.com, Christie declared the new bill the “toughest in the land” in terms of fighting opioid addiction. Unfortunately, making it more difficult to obtain these powerful prescription drugs through a legitimate source may have increased the amount of illegal traffic in them. While this law also included provisions mandating insurance companies to provide treatment for those addicted to opioid medications, the criminal penalties that you can face for these drugs can still be severe. For instance, the penalties that you could face for distribution or possession with intent to distribute drugs such as Vicodin, OxyContin or Roxicodone will depend on the number of “dosage units” involved. Under N.J.S. § 2C: 35-10.5, penalties for those offenses could include:
- Four or fewer units – This is a fourth-degree offense. A conviction could result in fines of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in jail.
- Between five to 99 units – This is a third-degree offense. You could face fines of up to $200,000 and between three to five years imprisonment if convicted.
- 100 pills or units – This is a second-degree offense. A conviction could result in fines of up to $300,000 and up to a 10-year prison sentence.
Possession is a third-degree offense. However, intent to distribute could be inferred if police found you to be in possession of large quantities of these drugs. Using fraud or forgery to obtain these drugs can also result in criminal penalties and other consequences such as the loss of your driver’s license or professional license.
Defenses to Vicodin, Oxycodone or Roxicodone Possession
When faced with the above penalties, you need a knowledgeable, highly skilled opioid possession lawyer working hard on your behalf. At the Law Office of Jason A. Volet, we can bring close to two decades worth of experience to aggressively defending people accused of these types of crimes. We can seek dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. If this is not an option, we will be fully prepared to present your case in front of a judge or jury. As a former assistant prosecutor and a criminal trial attorney certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, lawyer Jason A. Volet can help strategize a strong legal defense, which may include:
- Challenging the constitutionality of the stop and/or search which led to the opioids being found in your possession
- Disputing the findings of a forensic drug chemist’s testing of the drugs
- Arguing that you did not knowingly possess the drugs
- Asserting the defense of entrapment.
Get Help from an Opioid Possession Defense Lawyer Today
Our primary goal will be to help you to avoid a conviction that would result in incarceration. If having your charges reduced or dropped is not an option, and there is strong evidence to support a guilty verdict, we may be able to arrange for a plea or request alternative sentencing such as participation in a drug treatment program. Whatever the situation, you can trust The Law Office of Jason A. Volet to help you to seek the best possible outcome in your case. We have two offices conveniently located in Freehold and Neptune, and we serve clients throughout New Jersey. Call or reach us online today to learn more about how we can help.