What You Need to Know About Fentanyl Possession in New JerseyPublished: Nov 13, 2017 in Criminal Defense, Drug Charges
There has been a drastic rise in the number of individuals killed from taking fentanyl or fentanyl-laced heroin. When this drug first hit the streets, New Jersey authorities would see a few people die every year. It was a problem then, but now, it is a devastating epidemic. In 2016, fentanyl killed almost 900 people, NJ.com reported.
Both the number of individuals and areas of New Jersey affected by the drug are increasing. In the early 2000s, fentanyl had only been found in a few regions of the state and caused a relatively small number of deaths. Now, it is everywhere. Each county within the state recorded at least one fentanyl-related death in 2016. Some towns have been particularly hard hit and saw more than 10 deaths that year.
With all this information in mind, it is clear that state and federal law enforcement within New Jersey are keeping a sharp eye out for fentanyl production, trafficking, sales, and possession. If you are caught with any amount of fentanyl, you can expect to face a fentanyl possession charge, and if convicted, a harsh punishment. The best thing you can do for yourself is to contact a Jersey City drug attorney from Bhatt Law Group right away. We will thoroughly review your situation and then discuss your various legal options. Call us at (201) 798-8000.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid related to heroin. At up to 50 times more powerful than the typical, street-grade heroin, it is incredibly powerful and addictive. When fentanyl is used lawfully, is a safe and effective anesthetic and pain reliever. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to manufacture and abuse. Fentanyl looks the same as heroin, but only a few sprinkles of the powder within a dose of heroin can make the combination deadly. Individuals who are injecting themselves with the heroin and are unaware of the presence of fentanyl, or are unaware of fentanyl’s strength, can easily overdose.
Fentanyl Possession in New Jersey
Fentanyl is a Schedule II drug under the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances law. You may have fentanyl prescribed to you or given to you while at the hospital. However, you are not entitled to have it in your possession without a valid prescription. If you have any amount of fentanyl under your control without a prescription, then you can be charged with a crime.
Based on New Jersey statute §2C:35-10, it is a third-degree crime to knowingly obtain or possess a Schedule II substance. If convicted, you can be punished with three to five years in prison and a fine up to $35,000.
However, instead of being charged under the Controlled Dangerous Substances law, you could be charged with a crime for unlawfully possessing a prescription drug. In this case, your charge is not based off fentanyl’s place within the controlled substances schedule, but instead by the amount in your possession.
Under New Jersey statute §2C:35-10.5, you face:
- One to four doses- A fourth-degree crime, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
- Five to 99 doses- A third-degree crime, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $200,000.
- 100 or more doses- A second-degree crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $300,000.
Let a Jersey City Drug Attorney Help You
If you have been arrested for possessing fentanyl, contact a Jersey City drug attorney from Bhatt Law Group as soon as possible. Depending on the charge, you could face months or years in prison. This can be particularly scary when what you really need is help. We will always protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. We may be able to utilize and alternative sentencing program that gets you into the treatment you need to recover from your dependence and avoid a conviction or lengthy term of incarceration.
To learn more about how Bhatt Law Group may be able to help, contact us online or call (201) 798-8000 to schedule a free consultation.