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Prescription Drug Crimes in California

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 12:49
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The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 90 people die every day from an overdose of drugs in the opioid family, which includes heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain relievers such as Vicodin and oxycodone.

Unfortunately, these fatalities are often the result of abuse of illegally obtained prescription drugs. Now that the federal and state governments are giving more attention to the opioid crisis, it is an appropriate time to review California’s laws on illegal possession or sale of prescription drugs:

Possession of a Controlled Substance (California Health and Safety Code Section 11350)

Prescription drugs are considered controlled substances, which means the possession or use of the drug is legal only under strictly regulated circumstances.

In order to legally possess prescription drugs, you must have a current and valid prescription from a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist or veterinarian, and you can only possess the amount of the drug specified in the prescription. You can only have one prescription at a time for the drug, and you cannot obtain the drug through a prescription for someone else.

If you do any of the following, you can be charged unlawful possession of controlled substances under Health and Safety Code Section 11350:

If convicted, you could face up to 364 days in county jail and fines of up to $1,000.

However, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for a pre-trial diversion, which would allow you to avoid jail time provided that you complete a rehabilitation program.

Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Sell (California Health and Safety Code Section 11351)

It is also a crime to illegally possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell the drugs or to purchase the drugs for the purpose of later selling them.

You could face these charges if the prosecutor can prove one or more of the following factors in your case:

  • You had large quantities of the prescription drug
  • You possessed equipment and packaging materials, such as baggies, bindles or scales
  • You had large quantities of cash, usually in small denominations, OR
  • There was heavy traffic at your home, with persons frequently arriving and leaving within a short period of time

Possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell is a felony that carries up to four years in prison and potential fines of up to $20,000.

An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the court to sentence you to probation and up to 364 days in county jail, but unlike with simple possession, you would not be eligible for pre-trial diversion programs that would allow you to avoid serving time in jail.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or someone you love has been charged with possession of a prescription drug, it is crucial that you seek the immediate assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal defense lawyers have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients facing drug crimes. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

The post Prescription Drug Crimes in California appeared first on Wallin & Klarich.


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