Countless New Jersey families have lost a loved one due to deadly overdoses from heroin and other opioid drugs like Oxycontin. One prescription medication, naloxone, is in high demand around the country for emergency treatment in opioid overdose and its lifesaving capabilities. While it cannot save every individual, it can greatly increase a person’s chance of survival from an opioid overdose. Unfortunately, many people who use heroin and prescription painkillers find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being arrested and charged with possession and even intent to distribute these drugs, at which point they face jail instead of the opportunity to get the help they need. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime for heroin, Oxycodone, or other opiates in Hudson County, the criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law are here for you. Please contact us anytime at (201) 793-8018 to find out more about your legal options.
Recently, Jersey City’s Fire Department became equipped to administer naloxone in emergency situations. Previously, when firefighters responded to an overdose call, they were helpless to assist the individual without the life-saving drug. Now, 16 fire engines will carry naloxone. Having the medication on hand is also intended to protect the firefighters themselves, in the event that they are exposed to opioid substances while answering a call. Used doses of naloxone will be replaced by Jersey City Medical Center.
This new approach of equipping firefighters to administer naloxone in opioid overdose emergencies highlights just how serious the opioid crisis has become in New Jersey and around the nation. Sometimes individuals are given a prescription for an opioid like oxycodone, develop an addiction, and go on to use the drug without a prescription once they run out of refills. Others begin taking the drug illicitly and become addicted. Addiction to prescription opioids can then lead to heroin use and addiction. Both the use of heroin and prescription opioids without a prescription are illegal under New Jersey law.
Charges for Opioid Possession Without a Prescription
Like penalties for heroin possession, the level of offense for possession of a prescription opioid like oxycodone without a prescription increases based on the volume in an individual’s possession. If you are found to be in possession of 4 pills or less, you may be charged with a fourth degree offense. This carries the potential of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. It is a third degree offense to possess between 5 to 99 pills, carrying the potential of 3 to 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $200,000.
If you are found with 100 pills or more, you may be charged with second degree possession with intent to distribute. One factor that law enforcement considers when charging an individual with intent to distribute is the volume of drugs in the person’s possession. 100 or more pills exceeds the typical volume an individual would normally possess for personal use, leading law enforcement to believe the high volume of pills were intended for distribution.
Contact Hudson County Defense Lawyers for Heroin, Opioid, Prescription Painkillers Charges
If you have been charged with possession of heroin or a prescription opioid like Oxycontin or Percocet in Hudson County, it is important that you retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you right away. There are certain diversionary programs available in New Jersey such as Drug Court and the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program that you may be eligible to participate in to help you focus on recovery and rehabilitation. Contact our firm today for a free review of your case. One of our experienced Hudson County criminal defense attorneys is available immediately to provide the answers you need, so call (201) 793-8018 now.
Drug Rehabilitation Resources for Opioid Addiction in New Jersey
Sometimes the use of prescription opioids starts out innocently, with a prescription, and gets out of hand. Opioids are highly addictive and if you are struggling with opioid addiction, there are resources throughout the state that can help you. The State of New Jersey has set up a special task force to help those struggling with addiction or in an overdose emergency. If you need help, you can call 1-844-ReachNJ (1-844-732-2465). You cannot be prosecuted for calling for help. Individuals calling the helpline will receive immunity from arrest.