When someone tampers with food, medicine, or cosmetics in New Jersey, they’ll be charged with a crime of the third degree. When a health care professional or other authorized medication prescriber tampers with medicine prescribed for someone in New Jersey, under the terms of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-17(b), Tampering (Prescription Drugs), they will be charged with a crime of the second degree, and can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
With many criminal convictions, the state makes an effort to minimize a person’s exposure to jail time. This isn’t really true for crimes of the second degree, and it’s affirmatively not true for Tampering (Prescription Drugs) charges.
The statute requires that conviction lead to a term of imprisonment and prohibits judges from suspending the sentence or making other non-custodial arrangements. 2C:40-17(b) also explicitly leaves open the possibility that you’ll be charged with greater crimes, presumably through injuries caused by the tampering.
These are extremely serious charges that can cost you your freedom, your career, and your reputation. If you’ve been charged with prescription drug tampering under 2C:40-17(b), you need a lawyer today. Call Matthew Reisig at 732-385-3339 for a free consultation.