Xanax Charges in New Jersey
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that Xanax is one of the most common prescription drugs in the United States. That is because Xanax, which also goes by Alprazolam, is normally prescribed to patients suffering from stress, anxiety, panic attacks and even depression. In fact, according to the latest statistics, approximately 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from anxiety and take medication to treat it. Although the drug has become commonplace in our society, it is still highly illegal to use, possess or distribute Xanax without a valid prescription. However, it’s easy access on the black market means that people often buy and use it without without a valid prescription and take their chances when it comes to running into the law. In fact, Xanax charges are very common in towns like Jersey City, Hoboken, Kearny, Secaucus, Union City, Weehawken and North Bergen.
How Does Xanax Work & Why Is It So Popular?
Xanax works by binding to the GABA receptors in the brain. This in turn, slows down brain activity to reduce feelings of anxiety as well as fear or terror for people who are suffering from panic attacks. However, for individuals without anxiety, Xanax can create feelings of euphoria when it’s taken in larger doses than prescribed by a doctor. These euphoric effects can be similar to drinking alcohol. This is most likely because aside from working on the brain, Xanax also affects your central nervous system. For these reasons, Xanax has gained a lot of popularity on the party scene especially with college students and young professionals looking to enhance their high while drinking. For example, someone who is under the influence of Xanax can experience impairment, slow reaction time, and sleepiness. During investigations, police will normally look for these common or possible effects of Xanax use which include:
- General Impairment
- Slow Reaction Time
- Uncoordinated Movements
- Extreme Emotions
Based on the above, it is clear that Xanax can be a dangerous drug when not used as directed. Xanax addiction is a common issue in New Jersey and throughout the country. In our experience, we normally see clients how developed a dependency or “taste” for Xanax after first being prescribed the medication for anxiety or fear.
What Are The Penalties For Xanax Possession & Distribution In NJ?
Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is listed as a Schedule IV Controlled Dangerous Substance which makes it a crime to possess the drug without a valid prescription in New Jersey. The degree of the crime and the penalties that you can face for a Xanax charge typically depend on amount of the Xanax you had in your possession or if you sold or distributed the Xanax to another person. We have listed out the different crimes, laws, and associated sentences below.
Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance 2C:35-5b(13)
Third Degree Felony – It is a third degree crime to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) that is classified as a Schedule IV such as Xanax. This also applies to cases where you possessed the CDS with the intent to distribute it. If you are found guilty, you will face 3 – 5 years in New Jersey state prison and face a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed.
Prescription Drug Crimes 2C:35-10.5
Disorderly Persons Offense – Possession of 4 or fewer dosages or pills of Xanax is a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and a $1000 fine.
Fourth Degree Felony – It is a 4th degree indictable crime to distribute or possess Xanax with the intent to distribute up to four pills. A fourth degree crime will be handled in the Superior Court and is punishable up to 18 months in New Jersey state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Third Degree Felony – It is a 3rd degree indictable crime to distribute Xanax in a quantity of between 5 – 100 pills. The Superior Court will hear your case and, if found guilty, the judge can impose severe penalties which include 3 – 5 years in New Jersey state prison as well as a fine up to $200,000.
Second Degree Felony – Distribution of Xanax or possession with intent to distribute Xanax in an amount of 100 more pills is considered a second degree indictable crime. All second degree crimes carry a presumption of state prison incarceration even if it is your first offense. The period of state prison the judge can impose ranges from 5 – 10 years and the fine can be as high as $300,000.
Obtaining Xanax by Fraud or Forgery
Because Xanax is a prescription medication, the illegal market for its sale or use often comes from fake prescriptions or people using fake identities to obtain Xanax prescriptions from pharmacies. This is why New Jersey has made it a fourth degree crime to obtain or even attempt to obtain Xanax through any means of deception or forgery. These types of charges carry stiff penalties and sentences which include up to 18 months in New Jersey state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Under The Influence of Xanax
Many people don’t understand that police can actually arrest for you being under the influence of CDS such as Xanax that is independent of a DWI. If a cop believes you are under the influence of Xanax without a valid prescription or if you are found using it an manner that is not in accordance with your treatment and treating physician’s directions then you can be charged with a disorderly persons offense. These charges are punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and a $1000 fine.
Contact A Jersey City Xanax Attorney Today For A Free Consultation
At Proetta & Oliver, our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in defending clients against Xanax charges and other prescription drugs throughout New Jersey. In fact, in the past we have been able to secure numerous dismissals and municipal ordinance downgrades for our clients facing Xanax possession charges which means that you are able to walk out of court without a criminal record. In more serious Xanax distribution that are litigated at the County Superior Court, we are often able to secure our clients admission into Pre-Trial Intervention or obtain a downgrade to a lower charge so they can avoid a felony conviction. To learn more about how we may be able to help you, you can contact our office at (201) 793-8018 to discuss the facts of your case and your options during a free consultation.