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Prescription drug offenses are serious. Not only do they have criminal consequences, but they can also impact your reputation. If you have been charged with a prescription drug offense, speak with an Oakland prescription drug lawyer. An experienced drug attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to pursue a solid defense for you.

The Severity of Prescription Drug Offenses

Prescription drug offenses fall into two categories. The first is unlawful possession of a prescription drug, which by the wording means somebody who possesses a prescription drug, but at that moment does not have a lawful prescription to have that drug.

The second category is possession of prescription drugs with the intent to sell or actual sale of prescription drugs. In most instances, it does not matter whether a person does or does not have a prescription for the drugs that they have in a person if they intend to sell it or are actually selling it. They would be charged with a felony.

Of those two categories, the more serious are charges of possession with the intent to sell or actual sales of narcotics, because those are felonies. Being charged with unlawful possession of prescription drug is a misdemeanor. An Oakland prescription drug lawyer could help an individual build a defense against the charge.

Are Prescription Drug Charges a Priority to Oakland Law Enforcement?

Prescription drug charges may be a priority to Oakland law enforcement. From time to time, the police department engages in undercover or sting operations in which they are targeting someone that they suspect is unlawfully selling prescription drugs either because of the observations of the law enforcement or information that is conveyed to them by confidential informants. Those confidential informants may be somebody who purchased prescription drugs from someone and then tells the police about it.

The police would arrange to have that person go back and purchase some more. After the sale was done, the police would move in, arrest the seller, and charge a person with sales of prescription drugs. When that information is brought to their attention by observations that they made or by a confidential informant conveying it to them, they would aggressively pursue arresting and charging people suspected of selling prescription drugs.

Arrests for Legally Prescribed Medications

A person could be arrested and maybe even charged by the prosecution for having prescription drugs if they do not have the prescription on them. However, if the person possessed a prescription that was valid at the time of the arrest, their Oakland prescription drug lawyer could present it as satisfactory proof to the prosecution or the district attorney’s office that the possession was lawful, even though the prescription was not on them at the time. Those charges would most likely be dismissed. If somebody could not satisfactorily prove that they have or had a valid prescription for drugs they had in a person at the time they were arrested, that case would most likely be filed and that person would be prosecuted.

How Do Courts Treat Prescription Drug Cases?

Oakland courts treat prescription drug cases in different ways. Drug cases have some options that non-drug cases do not have. The primary one is referred to as Drug Court. Most people charged with drug charges may be able to enter the drug court program. That is a collaborative program between the courts, third-party treatment providers, and the defendant. If the defendant successfully completes the program and successfully completes the treatment program, the charges would be dismissed and the arrest sealed and destroyed. There would not be a conviction on the person’s record. People with drug charges have an option, in most instances, other than filing cases in court and going to trial to avail themselves primarily out of the drug court or to participate in a similar drug diversion program.

Evidence in Prescription Drug Cases

The prosecution must prove that the drug is a prescription drug and was unlawfully possessed. They do that through testing or expert witness testimony because there are instances, however rare, in which someone is arrested and charged with possession of a suspected prescription drug that later is determined to not be a prescription drug at all. It is referred to as bunk or placebo that is not a prescription drug and not unlawful to possess. The evidence in any prescription drug case is going to be proof that the drug or the item is a prescription drug. Other forms of evidence that may come into play include:

  • Photographs
  • Videos
  • Body cameras
  • Witness testimony

Value of an Oakland Prescription Drug Attorney

The penalties for a prescription drug offense can be severe and majorly impact your life, but they do not have to. A dedicated criminal defense attorney could work diligently to mitigate the penalties that you face. If you want to know more, call today and schedule a consultation.

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