Over the last decade, we have heard just about every story you can image when it comes to theft of prescription medication, pads and blanks. We have handled hundreds of cases beyond the classic arrest of an individual trying to fill a stolen blank. Addiction crosses all lines and so too do the scenarios involving someone stealing prescription medication, tablets and blanks. Our representation has even included medical physicians, dentists, nurses and pharmacists. If you were arrested because you stole blank(s) or some form of prescription drug, our team of defense lawyers possesses the skill set needed to achieve a favorable outcome. You should know what you are up against, your options, and what your best course of action would be. Call us for a free consultation anytime at 973-710-1520.
Newark NJ Prescription Theft Lawyers
There are basically two (2) types of theft charges that arise with prescription drugs. The following is a summary of each category of prescription theft offense.
1. Theft by Deception
A common variety of theft involving prescription drugs is “theft by deception” in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. This crops up when a defendant is accused of using some form of trickery or deceit to obtain possession of prescription legend drugs or the instruments needed to acquire these forms of CDS (e.g. medication blank or tablet). This charge is often filed in tandem with obtaining drugs by fraud. This particular offense arises out of N.J.S. 2C:20-4, which provides that:
A person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains property of another by deception. A person deceives if he purposely:
a. Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention or other state of mind, and including, but not limited to, a false impression that the person is soliciting or collecting funds for a charitable purpose; but deception as to a person’s intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise;
b. Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or
c. Fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.
The term “deceive” does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.
2. Theft by Unlawful Taking
Another pedigree of this offense is theft by unlawful taking of prescription drugs. This occurs where someone simply takes property that belongs to another, for example, a blank prescription or stored medication. The related law is contained at N.J.S. 2C:20-3 and provides that “a person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof.”
West Orange NJ Prescription Theft Lawyers
Our Newark Criminal Defense firm handles all grades of theft offenses relating to prescriptions. In this regard, the grading of a theft charge is predicated on the value of the medication or pharmaceuticals allegedly stolen.
- Second Degree Crime. Theft of $75,000 or more is a Second Degree Crime. Second degree theft carries a period of incarceration of 5-10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000.
- Third Degree Crime. Medication with a value of at least $500 but less than $75,000, results in a Third Degree Crime. There is a jail term of 3-5 years and fine that can reach $15,000 for third degree theft.
- Fourth Degree Crime. And stealing $250 to $499 is a Fourth Degree Crime. Fourth degree prescription theft triggers a potential period of imprisonment and fine of 18 months and $7,500, respectively.
Merger Applies To Related Forgery or Obtaining CDS by Fraud Charges . It is relatively common for a defendant charged with prescription theft to also face violations for forgery and obtaining CDS by fraud. The law allows for merger of these offenses. Accordingly, if an individual is convicted of forgery based on a forged instrument (e.g. prescription blank) and is also charged with theft by deception for the same incident, the two charges merge into one offense – Forgery.
Do not hesitate to contact our Newark Office at 973-710-1520 if you or a loved one was arrested or indicted for stealing a prescription or prescription medication. Initial consultations are always free of charge and our lawyers are highly experienced in the defense of all prescription drug offenses, including theft. You can reach us around the clock for a free case free evaluation and assessment.