Charged With a Prescription in Another Container in NJ?


Can I Keep My Prescription in Another Container in NJ?

Have you been charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance in New Jersey? Were you told that you are being charged with an indictable/felony offense and must go to Superior Court? Do you have a prescription for the medication that was not in the original container?  If so, we can help. You may face charges for prescription drugs and even simply for keeping pills in another bottle. Below, our Hudson County criminal defense lawyers explain why. To speak with an attorney about your specific prescription drug charges, contact our Jersey City office today for a free consultation.

Charged With Prescription Drugs in Hoboken, Why?

In New Jersey, you may have certain prescriptions given to you by your doctor. The pharmacy fills the prescription and puts it in a container. The container is usually orange and has an identifying label. The label has on it your name, the prescribing doctor’s name as well as the pharmacy name, the prescription name, directions on taking the prescription, and the number refills.

If a police officer searches you, your belongings, your house or your car, he may find a prescription pill. The pill usually has an identifying marker that gives an inkling to the police officer as to what type of pill you have. Certain prescriptions are required to be in its original container. Some examples are Xanax, benzos, Depakote, Percocet, oxycodone, and substances similar. These are substances that have been identified by certain State and Federal Schedules of Controlled Dangerous Substances.

If you do not have a prescription for pills such as as these, you will be charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. More often than not, you will be charged with a third degree felony which is punishable by as much as five years in state prison.

If you have a prescription but the pill was not in the proper container, you can still be charged criminally. You will likely be charged with failure to have the prescription not in a proper container. Believe it or not, this is actually a crime in New Jersey.

Arrested for Pills in Another Container in Jersey City

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-24, a person who possesses a controlled dangerous substance that was prescribed to them may possess it only in the container in which it was dispensed. There are some exceptions. A person may possess no more than a 10-day supply in another container. However, the person must be able to produce the name of the name, address of the doctor who prescribed the medication or the pharmacist who gave them the medication. A person who violates this section may be charged with a disorderly person offense. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, probation, a mandatory fine of up to $1,000, and a criminal record.

It is likely that if you have been found to have pills that are not in the proper container, you will be charged with possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substance) or with having a prescription not in a proper container. You may wonder how this can be when you have a prescription.

Think about it for a moment. The police are not going to stand by, roadside, by your car, and wait for you to gather information about your prescription. It is unlikely that they will even ask you if you have a prescription. It is even more unlikely that the police will ask who your pharmacist is or the name of your doctor. Even if the police did ask you these questions, it is more likely that they will charge you with the offense and let the court figure it out later. Fortunately, an experienced lawyer can help you deal with these charges and avoid the serious penalties that may result if you are convicted.

Get Help Fighting Charges for Prescription Medication in Hudson County

If you are charged with a felony offense for possession CDS and have a prescription, our lawyers may be able to help have it downgraded to prescription not in a proper container, a non-felony offense or to seek a dismissal based on your prescription. If you have been charged with not having the prescription not in a proper container, contact us to discuss how we may help resolve your charges. With offices in Jersey City, our team of attorneys serves all Municipal Courts in Hudson County, including those in Secaucus, Jersey City, Kearny, Union City, Bayonne, and also Hudson County Superior Court. Call (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation with a New Jersey Prescription Drug Defense Attorney at our firm.

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.