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Prescription Drug Charges in Modesto
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When people think of drug crimes, their mind usually goes to big-name substances like heroin, methamphetamines, or cocaine. However, many people don’t realize that the drugs they have sitting in their medicine cabinet could subject them to criminal charges if they are wrongfully used. Prescription drugs are also considered to be a controlled substance, however you can obtain them provided your doctor gives you a prescription for them. Even then, while it’s legal for you to possess and use them, it’s illegal for you to do a number of other things, just like other controlled substances.
Are you facing a prescription drug charge? Call the Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner now for a free initial case evaluation and start preparing your hard-hitting drug crime defense!
Common Prescription Drug Charges
California Health and Safety Code § 11550 makes it illegal to be under the influence of a controlled substance without a prescription from a doctor. This means it’s illegal to buy and consume substances such as codeine, morphine, or hydrocodone without authorization from a doctor. If you are found under the influence of one of these substances, you may be arrested until you can produce a valid prescription showing you are authorized to have the substance.
Being found in possession of any useable amount of a controlled substance is prohibited, including a prescription drug that you do not have a doctor’s authorization for. This means you can’t receive powerful painkillers from a friend or family member who does have the authorization for it, and receiving those drugs from them could result in you facing criminal charges.
You could also face criminal charges if you are legally allowed to have a controlled substance and decide to re-sell it on your own. This can include everything from large-scale operations to simply getting rid of a few extra pills you may not have a need for. This is a felony offense and could face even more serious charges if the sale occurs over state or even county lines.
Under Health and Safety Code § 11173, it is against the law to misrepresent yourself, your condition, or your doctor’s authorization in order to obtain a controlled substance. This includes a number of different actions:
- Deceiving your doctor or another medical professional through fraud or misrepresentation of your condition in order to obtain a prescription for a controlled substance
- Stealing a doctor’s prescription pad and writing yourself a prescription for a controlled substance
- Falsely representing yourself as a pharmaceutical or medical professional for the purpose of obtaining a controlled substance
- Placing a forged or falsified label on a container containing controlled substances
Prescription drug fraud can vary in severity, and like most other drug crimes, is considered a “wobbler” charge, which means you could face either misdemeanor or felony penalties at the discretion of your prosecution.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
While most people know of DUI charges as a crime involving alcohol, driving while intoxicated or inebriated as a result of prescription drugs is also covered under California Vehicle Code § 23152. If you are found to be driving while under the influence of prescription drugs and have your ability to safely and reasonably operate your vehicle impaired, law enforcement can arrest you and subject you to DUI charges, even if you were legally allowed to have the drugs through a legitimate prescription.
Drug-related DUI charges are exactly the same as an alcohol DUI charge, which means you could face license suspension, mandatory drug education classes, and more in addition to possible jail time and large fines. If you have a previous DUI on your record within the last 10 years, you will be considered a repeat offender.
Retain an Attorney
A Modesto drug crimes lawyer can help you develop an impactful, hard-hitting criminal defense and enable you to navigate your charges with confidence. When you are facing drug charges, Attorney Mark Girdner can handle your case with the utmost professionalism that you would expect from a reputable legal professional. We place your success at the forefront of all our strategic decisions, and your best possible outcome is our ultimate goal.
If you are facing prescription drug charges, contact the Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner online now!