Prescription drugs are drugs that are issued under the care and instruction of an authorized physician. These types of drugs cannot be possessed or sold without the proper documentation. Prescription drug abuse has become increasingly common in the past decade. Some prescription drugs often considered just as dangerous as illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine because they are narcotics or stimulants just like those drugs.
Criminal laws regulate the possession, use, and distribution of prescription drugs. Some common examples of prescription drug crimes include:
In many cases prescription drug crimes involve persons using the drugs illegally, or persons obtaining them illegally and reselling them on the black market. However, other persons can be found guilty for prescription drug crimes, such as medical professionals.
In some cases, the pharmacist or doctor may be part of the criminal activity, acting in collusion with drug sellers or distributors. For instance, they may be issuing fake prescriptions. This can constitute pharmacist malpractice for the professional and they risk losing their license. Such practices can also lead to criminal penalties for the medical professional.
Legal penalties for prescription drug crimes can be very serious. They will depend on the type of crime involved, the type of drug being addressed, and the amount of drugs in question. Lesser crimes involving possession of drugs without a prescription (no intent to distribute) may result in misdemeanor charges. These can result in fines and jail time of up to a year.
More serious crimes, such as possession of large amounts of drugs, or actual distribution of drugs can result in felony charges. These are punishable by higher fines (sometimes up to $10,000) and longer prison sentences (anywhere from 2-20 years). Repeat offenses and crimes involving violence will also result in more serious penalties.
Other consequences can result from drug convictions, such as the loss of the right to possession of a firearm, or the confiscation of vehicles used to transport the controlled substances.
Prescription drug charges can be just as serious as more conventional types of drug cases. You may need to hire a qualified criminal lawyer if you have any legal issues or concerns involving prescription drug crimes. Your attorney can provide you with legal representation if you need to appear in court. Also, your lawyer can inform you of your rights, legal options, and possible defenses if applicable.
Last Modified: 04-23-2018 10:47 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.