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Stopping the sale and distribution of prescription drugs is a priority for Alameda County. The Alameda County law enforcement task force is focused on the sale of prescription drugs. For example, if someone is involved in the sale of a large quantity of prescription narcotics such as Xanax, that is going to attract the attention of law enforcement more so than simple possession of a prescription drug for personal use.

However, possession of a prescribed medication without a prescription or possessing excessive quantities of the drug could be illegal. If you are facing charges for possessing prescribed narcotics, you could benefit from an Alameda County prescription drugs lawyer. A skilled drug attorney could help defend your best interests and protect your future.

Understanding Prescription Drug Charges

Prescription drug offenses are serious offenses in Alameda County. Some prescription drugs are regulated on the federal level and defined as controlled substances. Even if someone has a prescription, there are ways that he or she could be punished for the misappropriation of that narcotic. For instance, selling prescription drugs, driving under the influence of prescribed narcotics, or the improper administration of medication could lead to a criminal offense.

Even those who have a valid prescription could be charged. People who do not have a prescription and are in possession of medications like Xanax, Hydrocodone, or Oxycodone could be charged with simple possession or intent to distribute prescription drugs. An experienced Alameda County prescription drug attorney could investigate the incident and gather evidence to help prove a case.

What are the Consequences for Failing to Present a Legal Prescription?

A person could be arrested and charged if he or she does not have a prescription on them. However, it is probably more likely that an officer would confiscate the drugs. This would require a legal reason for an officer to search a person. The officer would issue a citation, indicating that there were some health and safety code violations for possession of these drugs without a prescription.

It is possible to present a prescription later to counter the allegation and potentially get it dismissed. It would be important to inform the officers right away that there is a valid prescription for the medication so that there is a record that this is something a person was legally in possession of.

If an Alameda County prescription drug lawyer could show proof of prescription prior to the discovery, the case could be dropped. In order for the case to be dropped, the defendant would need to prove that the prescription was issued before the arrest, the prescription matches the drug that was found, and the quantities discovered were consistent with the quantity prescribed. If those elements do not appear to be true, he or she could still be charged.

Defending a Drug Prescription Charge

Most of the time, Alameda County courts treat prescription drug cases on the misdemeanor level, unless a large quantity distribution of prescription drugs or possession with intent to sell is involved. For first-time offenders, cases often get referred to the Drug Court or Early Intervention Court. The court and District Attorney may be on board with referring and admitting people into the collaborative court process upon presentation of a persuasive request by a defense attorney.

Collecting Evidence

In prescription drug cases, the evidence that tends to be considered includes, but is not limited to, the actual prescription and when the prescribed narcotic was issued, in addition to the identification or testing of the substance. It is possible that something appeared to be a prescription medication to an officer, but after testing in a lab, it turns out to be something else.

Additional evidence includes any admissions, surveillance, or any photographic evidence of someone engaging in the illegal use of those prescription drugs such as a sale or hand-to-hand transactions. A skilled lawyer in Alameda County could help prove the defendant possessed the prescription medication before the charge.

What are Unique Aspects of Prescription Medication Charges?

Sometimes individuals do not realize that even though they may be in legal possession of their prescription drugs, they could still be used for an unlawful purpose and therefore possession of a prescription does not always lead to dismissal of a prescription drug case.

For example in driving under the influence cases, someone may be legally taking his or her prescription drugs as prescribed, but there may warnings against mixing with alcohol and possible side effects that the prescribed party ignores or disregards – this can lead to a DUI arrest if the combination of prescriptions drugs and alcohol led to a DUI investigation. This could potentially be a valid arrest and charge for use of a prescribed drug in a lawful manner; however, a seasoned prescription drug attorney could help the prescribed individual mount a defense to the DUI.

Call an Alameda County Prescription Drug Attorney Today

It is important to retain an experienced drug lawyer due to the ramifications that can happen if you are convicted of a narcotics offense. A criminal defense attorney could try and prevent charges from being filed, request a reduction of felony charges to misdemeanor charges, or seek a dismissal if there is a valid legal or factual defense to the alleged offense. Consult with an Alameda County prescription drugs lawyer who could review the evidence, identify any legal or factual insufficiencies, and advise you accordingly. Call today.

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