Many people will remember the panic that erupted in 1982 when a number of people around Chicago were mysteriously poisoned by Tylenol.
The case made headlines worldwide, prompted a massive recall and has permanently changed the way that products are packaged.
It also led to a series of legal prohibitions, at the federal and state level, against so-called Tampering.
In New Jersey, the statute N.J.S.A. 2C:40-17 makes it a crime of the third degree to knowingly tamper with a cosmetic, drug, or food product.
Healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and their agents, who knowingly tamper with medicine that has been prescribed for a patient will be charged with Tampering as a crime of the second degree, and the statute explicitly allows other, more serious charges in tandem with the Tampering charge.
Healthcare providers who are convicted under 2C:40-17 must serve time in prison.
The statute prohibits judges from issuing a suspended sentence or otherwise allowing the defendant to avoid serving some of the five-to-10 year sentence that a second degree crime warrants.
Healthcare providers will also face fines of up to $150,000 if convicted.
Penalties for Tampering as a crime of the third degree are still stiff, with a three to five year prison sentence possible and fines of up to $15,000.
Tampering is extremely serious, and can prompt an enormous public reaction.
Companies can suffer significant losses, which can impact their shareholders and employees.
Prosecutors take this charge very seriously, and you must as well.
If you’ve been charged with Tampering under 2C:40-17, get help immediately.
Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 to talk to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer for free.