New Jersey takes drug crimes seriously and laws have been enacted to dissuade people from using or possessing scheduled drugs such as heroin or crystal methamphetamine. The laws are also in place to prevent people from carrying or distributing paraphernalia that can be used for the injection of these drugs such as a hypodermic needle.
Under New Jersey state law N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6, it is illegal for a person to possess or distribute a hypodermic needle if the needle is being used by a person to distribute or personally use controlled substances such as heroin. It is also illegal for a person to provide a hypodermic needle to another person. An individual arrested for possessing or distributing a hypodermic needle will be charged with a disorderly persons offense.
Exceptions to Illegal Possession of Hypodermic Needles
The law on possessing a hypodermic needle or syringe has two exceptions. If a person is authorized to possess and use a hypodermic needle through a valid prescription issued by a licensed physician, dentist or veterinarian and it is used for its authorized purpose. No prescription for a hypodermic syringe, hypodermic needle or any other instrument adapted for the use of controlled dangerous substances by subcutaneous injections shall be valid for more than one year from the date it is issued.
Second, the law does not apply if the hypodermic needle is possessed by a licensed physician, nurse, podiatrist, pharmacist, veterinarian or undertaker. This also applies to hospitals, medical supply facilities, government agencies, or a person who is a resident intern at a hospital or other medical facility. In short, if a person has a legitimate reason for possessing the hypodermic needle, it is legal to have it. If they do not have a prescription or are working in an industry where it’s legal for them to have it, it is illegal.
Penalties for Possession of a Hypodermic Needle
If a person is arrested for possession of a hypodermic needle and convicted of the disorderly persons offense, he or she is subject to up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and the potential loss of driving privileges through the suspension of the person’s driver’s license.
Contact an Attorney for Defense of Hypodermic Needle Charges
If you have been arrested and charged with possession of a hypodermic needle in New Jersey, it is important that you have qualified legal representation on your side. Contact the law firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey if you were charged in a Monmouth County or Ocean County town. Villani & DeLuca’s criminal defense attorneys have years of experience representing clients charged with drug-related disorderly persons offenses.
Have you been charged with possession of a hypodermic needle in a New Jersey town such as Asbury Park, Toms River, Seaside Heights or Manalapan? If so, contact Villani & DeLuca to discuss your case today.