Xanax, a drug prescribed to treat anxiety, is a highly addictive Schedule IV controlled dangerous substance (CDS). As with any addictive narcotic, this pharmaceutical was developed to treat people’s ailments and improve their lives, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. As a result, New Jersey law imposes strict penalties on an individual who is found guilty of possessing or distributing Xanax. If you or a loved one has been charged with a Xanax offense, you must understand that the liberty of those charged with these offenses is at stake. An experienced criminal defense lawyer who can assist with all aspects of your case is equally vital to your success in resolving the case with minimal or no impact on your freedom and your criminal record.
Criminal Defense Attorney William C. Fay, Esq. is an exceptional lawyer and former Deputy Attorney General who utilizes his skills investigating and prosecuting narcotics cases and other crimes on behalf of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to prepare and defend his clients’ criminal cases to the fullest extent of the law. Mr. Fay and the defense team at our office are poised to defend you against Xanax possession or distribution charges in Winslow, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Mount Holly, Willingboro, Florence, Maple Shade, or elsewhere in Burlington County. Contact (609)-850-8284 for more information and a free consultation with a member of our firm today.
Is Xanax Legal in New Jersey?
Also known as “zanies”, “bars”, or “blues”, Xanax is a benzodiazepine—a class of drugs used to treat panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and seizures. The drug has a depressive effect, which causes an individual to feel calmer, but it is also very common for individuals to have unpleasant withdrawals from Xanax.
Under the Controlled Substance Act, Xanax is a Schedule IV drug because its use can result in physical dependency. Symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax include a return of anxiety, hyperventilation, sweating, hallucinations, trouble sleeping, and even seizures.
Symptoms of withdrawal can be experienced by those taking even low doses. These symptoms can be so significant that it is recommended that an individual discontinuing Xanax be medically supervised because stopping abruptly can lead to seizures and death.
The highly addictive nature of this drug has unsurprisingly led to a black market of Xanax. It is only legal in New Jersey with a valid prescription.
Criminal Penalties for Using Xanax in NJ
In New Jersey, if you are found to be under the influence of Xanax in public without a valid prescription, you can be charged with a disorderly persons offense. You can also be charged with a disorderly persons offense if you are found to be in possession of Xanax pills in a non-original container. So, if you take Xanax pills, whether or not they are yours, and put them in a different prescription container or in a zip lock bag, you can be charged with a disorderly persons offense. Finally, it is a disorderly persons offense to refuse to hand over Xanax to a law enforcement officer.
If convicted of a Xanax-related disorderly persons offense, you may be sentenced to up to 6 months in county jail and be ordered to pay fines of up to $1,000.
Possessing Xanax Without a Prescription, Possessing with Intent to Distribute, and Distributing
New Jersey punishes illegal possession and distribution of Xanax severely. If you are found to be in possession of Xanax without a valid prescription or with the intent to distribute the Xanax, the degree of the offense depends on the number of pills you are in possession of at the time of the offense. The same goes for distribution of this prescription drug.
It is a disorderly persons offense to possess 1 to 4 Xanax pills without a valid prescription. Punishments include county jail time of up to 6 months and a maximum $1,000 fine.
It is a fourth degree indictable offense to possess 1 to 4 Xanax pills with intent to distribute, or distribute 4 or fewer pills. If convicted, you may face imprisonment of up to 18 months and be ordered to pay fines of up to $10,000.
If you possess with intent to distribute between 5 and 99 pills, or distribute Xanax pills of that number, you can be charged with a third degree indictable offense. If convicted, you could be sentenced for 3 and up to 5 years in prison and face fines of up to $200,000.
Possessing 100 or more Xanax pills with intent to distribute or actually distributing 100 or more pills is a second degree offense. This is the most serious Xanax offense and, if convicted, you could be imprisoned for 5 to 10 years and have to pay up to $300,000 in fines. This offense carries a presumption of incarceration if found guilty.
Options for Avoiding Prison Time for NJ Xanax Charges
If you have been charged with a Xanax-related offense, you may be eligible for certain diversionary programs that may allow you to avoid a conviction and prison time.
Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) for Indictable Xanax Offenses
New Jersey’s Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) is a diversionary program potentially available to those charged with an indictable offense. If you have not been convicted of a crime before and have not previously participated in a diversionary program, you may be eligible for PTI. If you are accepted into PTI, you will be required to satisfy certain requirements like reporting to your probation officer and submitting to regular drug tests. If you successfully satisfy all of the conditions, then you will avoid a conviction.
Conditional Discharge for Disorderly Persons Xanax Offenses
If you are charged with a Xanax-related disorderly persons offense or if you successfully negotiate a fourth degree or third degree Xanax charge to a disorderly persons offense, then you may be eligible for conditional discharge. This is a type of diversionary program that allows you to complete a period of probation, during which the charge against you is conditionally dismissed. You do not have to plead guilty in a conditional discharge. However, if you fail to successfully complete your probation, then your charges will be reinstated.
Drug Court for Repeat Offenders Charged with Xanax
If you are addicted to Xanax, you may be eligible to participate in Drug Court, even if you have prior convictions. Drug Court is a type of probation program that allows defendants to avoid imprisonment and instead focus on their recovery from addiction. You must plead guilty and then you will receive an alternative prison sentence. If you successfully complete your probation and abide by all required conditions, then you will not be required to serve the prison sentence.
Need a Lawyer to Defend a Xanax Case? Call our Marlton NJ Office
Anxiety over a Xanax charge may feel uncomfortably ironic, but it is completely understandable. If you are facing an indictable Xanax charge or even a disorderly person offense, you are potentially looking at time in jail and a criminal conviction on your record.
Trying to handle these allegations without the help of a seasoned and aggressive criminal defense lawyer places your freedom and finances at an enormous disadvantage. However, you can breathe a breath of relief knowing that our team of Burlington County drug defense attorneys has successfully defended countless individuals against the same and similar charges for Xanax in Bordentown, Burlington City, Pemberton, Burlington Twp., Medford, Cinnaminson, Evesham, and throughout Burlington County.
A skilled lawyer at Proetta, Oliver, & Fay can help get the charges against you dismissed, negotiate an indictable offense down to a disorderly persons charge so you can be eligible for a conditional discharge, or help you apply for another diversionary program to avoid jail time. We can also advise you every step of the way, taking into account the evidence against you and the unique circumstances of your case while developing the best approach to defending you. Call (609)-850-8284 to get in touch with our office in Marlton now and start preparing for your Xanax case.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted.
525 Highway 73, Suite 104, Marlton, New Jersey 08053 Phone: 609-850-8284 By Appointment Only
100 Horizon Center Boulevard, Hamilton, New Jersey, 08691 By Appointment Only
Point Pleasant Office
3828 River Road,
Suite A, Point Pleasant,
New Jersey 08742
By Appointment Only
180 Kings Highway, Middletown Township, New Jersey 07748 By Appointment Only