Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending the Rights of Individuals Accused of Prescription Drug Crimes in all Los Angeles County Courts
When most people think about drug crimes, they think about illegal drugs like marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. While the possession, sale, and manufacture of these types of drugs are certainly illegal, drug crimes involving prescription drugs are just as serious and can result in severe legal penalties.
In fact, the law does not distinguish between the illegal possession and sale of illicit drugs and prescription drugs, meaning that taking a few of your friend's Adderall pills to get through an exam or pain pills to deal with an injury can expose you to the same liability that the user of illegal “hard” drugs would face.
Importantly, California law also does not see a difference between the “legitimate” use of prescription drugs for which you do not have a prescription and the misuse or abuse of these drugs.
As a result, it does not matter if you are using prescription drugs to get high or “party” or if you are taking them for their intended purpose – you are still facing criminal consequences if you are caught. It's also a crime for doctors to excessively prescribe drugs.
California Health and Safety Code 11368 covers Forging or altering a prescription for narcotics.
California Health and Safety Code 11173 covers doctor shopping and prescription fraud.
California Health & Safety Code 11162.5 covers counterfeiting a prescription blank.
If you are under criminal investigation for a prescription drug charges case in Los Angeles, call a drug defense attorney at our law firm immediately. It's important to remain silent and don't answer any questions from law enforcement as you may incriminate yourself.
Common Prescription Drugs Used Illegally in Los Angeles
Some examples of prescription drugs of which the possession or sale can result in criminal liability include the following:
Prescription Drug Crimes Can Result in Significant Legal Penalties
To illustrate how people who do not think they are doing anything wrong can get into trouble, let us imagine that your brother recently had a wisdom tooth extracted and was prescribed Tylenol 3 (acetaminophen and codeine) by his dentist, which he does not finish.
While out running, you twist your ankle – not so badly that you need to go to the emergency room or even see your physician, but badly enough that it makes it painful to walk.
You call your brother, ask him if you can have some of his leftover pills, to which he agrees. You go to his house, pick them up, and put them in the console of your car.
The next day, you are pulled over for speeding. The officer notices the pill bottle that you have, asks you what it is, and you respond honestly, not considering the criminal prescription drug fraud crime implications.
It is possible that the police officer will arrest you and be facing criminal action by the state. If you are convicted, you could be subject to the following penalties:
- Community Service,
- Drug and alcohol counseling,
- Jail time.
In addition, the fact that you have a drug-related conviction on your record could make it difficult to get a job, rent an apartment, and may even disqualify you from receiving federal financial aid for school. For these reasons, it is best to avoid a conviction whenever possible.
How a Los Angeles Prescription Drug Lawyer Can Help
In most drug cases, whether or not you actually possessed the prescription drugs is not at issue. If they are pulled out of your pocket or discovered in your car or home, there is often little room to argue that you did not actually possess the drugs that you are accused of possessing.
As a result, when you retain a defense attorney, they will often look for ways to suppress the evidence that the state has against you. Generally, this involves looking for ways in which the police violated your rights when they were searching for evidence.
In some cases, it also may be possible for a drug defense lawyer to argue that you were not aware of the fact that you were in possession of the drugs, which will defeat the case against you. For example, if you rented a car and were not aware that the last renter had left his or her prescription in the vehicle, you would likely not be convicted of drug possession.
Finally, in the absence of persuasive legal defenses, a drug crime lawyer can often help get you into a diversionary program for first-time offenders that will avoid a conviction if successfully completed or can obtain a favorable plea bargain.
Call a Los Angeles Prescription Drug Charges Defense Attorney
If you are facing accusations of a criminal offense related to the unauthorized possession or sale of prescription drugs, you should talk to a prescription drug charges attorney immediately.
The experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys of Eisner Gorin LLP are dedicated to helping people accused of criminal misconduct and have the experience and skill required to protect your future. For a free immediate response with one of our lawyers, call our lawyers today at 877-781-1570 to learn how we can help you.