Prescription Drugs

Providing Reliable Advice And Defense

There is an ongoing government crackdown in California on the illegal use of prescription drug. California drug enforcement laws target substances routinely found inside Santa Barbara medicine cabinets. The targeted substances include painkillers such as Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin and psychotropic drugs including Adderall, Xanax and Ritalin. Improper use of these substances, including possession and distribution, is illegal.

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Who Can Be Prosecuted For Prescription Drug Crimes?

Arrests for prescription drug crimes are steadily increasing. Drug crimes attorneys are seeing government prosecutors target the following individuals:

  • Patients -- Patients who may have a legitimate painkiller prescription as the result of an injury or illness are sometimes the targets of the prosecution. Writing a false prescription, altering the medicine label, doctor shopping to find a new prescription or concealing your health history from your doctor are illegal acts in California.
  • Doctors -- Doctors who practice at clinics or "pill mills" can also be charged with criminal activity if they write prescriptions without thoroughly examining the patient and/or the patient's medical history or if they write prescriptions for prescription drugs outside their normal practice area.

prescription drug punishment

What Are The Penalties For Prescription Drug Crimes?

In California, the possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The punishment depends on the type and amount of medicine involved. Distribution, which may even include furnishing pills to a friend or relative in need, may be charged as a felony. A doctor who violates these laws may be subject to jail or prison time and a fine of up to $20,000. Pretrial diversion plans are usually available for misdemeanors, allowing the offender to substitute drug education classes for jail time. Such options are much more limited in felony cases.

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Driving Under The Influence Of Prescription Drug

In California, there are no standards for prescription drug impairment like there are for alcohol impairment. Further, having a valid prescription is not a defense to a drug-related DUI.