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When most people think of drug crimes, illegal street drugs such as meth, heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy often come to mind. However, the most common type of drug crime over the past several years involves prescription drugs. Whether it’s by carrying a few pills without a legal prescription or misrepresenting your personal information to obtain a controlled substance, prescription drug crimes are associated with serious penalties can that cause permanent damage to your professional reputation and personal life.
At The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian, we understand what it takes to obtain the best outcome possible. Our Murrieta criminal defense attorney can perform an investigation into your arrest, obtain evidence, and create a strong defense strategy to either have your case thrown out or your charges reduced.
Prescription Drugs & Penalties in California
Since prescribed medication is a controlled substance in California, you must obtain a valid prescription from a doctor or other health care provider.
Unlawful possession of prescription drugs is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum one-year jail sentence and a fine no more than $1,000. But if you have been previously convicted of a felony or sex crime, unlawful possession will be charged as a felony, punishable by a prison term of up to three years.
If you have been arrested with a significant amount of prescription drugs, you may be charged with unlawful possession with an intent to sell. This type of crime is a felony offense, which results in a maximum prison term of four years and a fine of up to $2,000.
Prescription drug fraud occurs when you gain access to a controlled substance through dishonest and fraudulent means. Common examples include forging a doctor’s signature, altering a written prescription, doctor shopping, and impersonating a health care provider to obtain prescribed medication. Most offenses of prescription drug fraud are felonies, punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years.
Additionally, you can get a DUI if you are impaired by prescription drugs. A first-time DUI is a misdemeanor offense which carries a jail sentence of up to six months, fines costing thousands of dollars, and a six-month license suspension.
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Since the penalties from prescription drug crimes are extremely harsh, you must obtain experienced legal representation to protect your rights, reputation, and future. We have a comprehensive understanding of the Riverside County Court system to guide you through the complexities of the legal process.
Contact us and speak with our Murrieta drug crime lawyer for more information today.