On October 28, 2014, the Acting Attorney General issued new directives for heroin and opiate cases. The directives seek to enhance the role that prosecutors can take in enabling drug treatment for a defendant in lieu of imprisonment.

The new directives include the following:

 “New statewide training for officers on responding to overdoses and the Overdose Protection Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie last year and which provides that those who, in good faith, seek help for an overdose victim will be immune from arrest and prosecution on a charge of use or simple possession of illegal drugs.

Mandatory reporting each time the prescription painkiller antidote Narcan is administered to reverse an overdose in order for state officials to analyze the effectiveness of the drug.

Uniform standards and training to ensure drug overdoses are properly investigated and, where appropriate, drug dealers are charged criminally for deaths that result from drugs they distributed.

Sharing of information with the newly formed Prescription Fraud Investigative Strike Team, which will spearhead investigations and prosecutions of healthcare professionals who illegally supply prescription drugs for profit.

Stronger penalties for drug traffickers who sell dangerous prescription painkiller and drug mixtures, or those who sell both heroin and prescription painkillers.

New requirements to make sure prosecutors actively identify offenders who are candidates for the state’s Drug Court Program, which diverts nonviolent drug offenders into court-supervised drug treatment rather than incarceration.”

If you have been charged with a drug-related offense, it is important to speak to an attorney regarding your rights. Call Attorney Jason Komninos at (201) 343-4622 for a free consultation.

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