Xanax Possession Lawyers in Camden County
Prescribed to physicians to treat anxiety, Xanax or alprazolam, as it is known scientifically, acts to reduce stress and panic by slowing down excessive brain activity through its effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the brain, thereby creating a calming effect. This drug is not without side effects and is classified as a Schedule IV controlled dangerous substance. Use of Xanax is legal with a valid prescription, but if you possess Xanax without a personal prescription or distribute Xanax to someone else when you are unauthorized to do so, you can face serious legal consequences in New Jersey.
Is Xanax a Dangerous Drug?
Even when used as prescribed, Xanax can cause short term side effects like weight loss, weight gain, memory impairment, blurred vision, drowsiness, and muscle twitching. The drug also tends to be addictive, creating a chemical dependency in many of its users. With long term use or abuse, Xanax can alter brain function and cause dizziness, inability to concentrate, irritability, fatigue, sleep problems, and memory loss. It can also damage the liver.
As a result of these harmful effects and the chemical dependency caused by the drug, New Jersey law criminalizes the possession of Xanax without a valid prescription and the distribution of the drug by those without authorization and/or to those without a valid prescription.
What are the penalties for illegal possession and distribution of Xanax?
The lowest level Xanax offense is a disorderly persons offense and you may be charged with this if you are found to be under the influence of Xanax and you do not have a prescription for it, you have Xanax on you that is not in its original packaging even if you do have a prescription for it, or you fail to turn over your Xanax to a police officer when requested. These actions are punishable by up to 6 months in prison and you may be ordered to pay fines of up to $1,000. Your case will be heard in the municipal court of the town or city where you were charged. You will not have a right to a jury trial. Instead, your case will be heard and decided by a municipal court judge.
If you are charged with having 4 or fewer Xanax pills in your possession without a valid prescription, a fourth degree offense, your case will be heard in the superior court of the county where you were arrested and charged. If convicted, you may face up to 18 months of imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
It is a third degree indictable offense to possess between 5 to 99 Xanax pills without a valid prescription. These cases are also heard in the superior court of the county where you were arrested, but carry more significant penalties. If you are found guilty of third degree Xanax possession, you may be sentenced to up to 3 to 5 years in prison and be ordered to pay fines of up to $200,000.
The most significant Xanax charge is second degree possession of 100 or more pills with the intent to distribute. Among other evidence, the prosecution will point to the high volume of pills in your possession as evidence of your intent to distribute the pills, rather than just keep them for personal use. You can be sentenced to up to 5 to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay up to $300,000 in fines, if convicted.
I was charged with Possession of Xanax. Do I need a lawyer?
Even the lowest level Xanax-related offense carries potential prison time. If you or a loved one are charged with a Xanax offense, it is vital to seek the representation of a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer. The attorneys at our firm have helped our clients get their charges dismissed and participate in diversionary programs available in New Jersey like Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). For more information, contact us today.