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What Are the Penalties for Possession of Illegal Prescription Drugs in San Jose?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose illegal prescription drug defense lawyerAs public safety officials focus on ending the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, law enforcement officials are increasingly focused on apprehending those in violation of state laws. Being in possession of certain medications without a prescription is a serious crime in California, which can result in heavy fines as well as a potentially lengthy jail sentence. If you are charged or arrested for illegal possession of prescription drugs, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

Misuse of Prescription Medication

Prescription medications can provide much-needed relief from a variety of medical conditions. However, there are many drugs which have a powerful effect on users, leading them to misuse medications or obtain them illegally. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, taking any medication other than those prescribed by a doctor can impact your physical and mental health and may result in dependency. Some of the most commonly abused types of prescription drugs include:

  • Opioids, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), which are used to treat pain.

  • Central nervous system [CNS] depressants, such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and zolpidem (Ambien), which are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.

  • Stimulants, which include amphetamines and dextroamphetamines (Adderall), commonly found in ADHD medications, and anabolic steroids.

Under Drug Enforcement Administration guidelines, opioids and amphetamines are classified as Schedule II drugs, which means they have legitimate medical uses as well as a high potential for abuse. Steroids and depressants are classified as either Schedule III or IV medications, meaning they could also result in chemical dependency. All of these carry serious penalties if found in one's possession without a valid prescription.

Penalties For Illegal Prescription Drug Possession

Under the California Penal Code, illegal possession of any controlled substance is a crime. Penalties you could face for a first offense include fines of up to $1,000 and up to a year in county jail. If you are found to have a large amount of illegally obtained prescription drugs in your possession, the “intent to sell” could be inferred. This involves even more severe penalties, including possible federal charges.

As experienced Bay Area criminal defense attorneys, we can take the following actions on your behalf if you are facing prescription drug charges:

  • Disputing how the medications were obtained.

  • Disputing whether they were in your possession and that you were aware you had them on you.

  • Arguing that the drugs were discovered during an illegal search and seizure.

  • Disputing your arrest and the procedures that were followed.

  • Negotiating with law enforcement to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

  • Persuading the prosecuting attorney to refer you to a pretrial diversion program, which can protect you against jail time and a permanent criminal record.

Contact Our San Jose Attorneys Today

When facing potentially serious prescription drug charges, Jachimowicz Law Group can provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need. Call our office at 408-246-5500 to contact our skilled San Jose prescription drug defense attorneys today and request a free consultation to discuss how we can help in your case.

Sources: 

https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling

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