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Prescription Drug Offenses
The laws that govern the sale, possession, and use of controlled substances, including prescription drugs, are ever-changing. The one thing that remains constant is that a conviction for a drug offense can leave a defendant with a lifelong criminal record that can affect future employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Therefore, it is important to talk to an experienced drug crime attorney about your case as soon as possible if you have been accused of criminal wrongdoing concerning a prescription medication. San Bernardino and Riverside County prescription drug crime lawyer Gregory H. Comings regularly represents people who have found themselves in this unnerving situation. He is here to help you protect the full scope of your legal rights.
Any prescription drug is capable of being misused or obtained illegally, but some of the more common medicines that are involved in prescription drug offenses include hydrocodone, OxyContin, Zanax, Dilaudid, and Percocet. People who engage in “doctor shopping” in order to obtain these drugs illegally or engage in prescription fraud or forgery face serious punishments, including incarceration and hefty fines. In fact, any type of fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or concealment that is committed for the purpose of obtaining a prescription drug can result in punishments under criminal statutes.
There are both state and federal laws that govern the punishment of people who commit prescription drug offenses. A prescription drug crime attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino County can explain the range of penalties that may apply in your situation. The sentence in a particular case can vary considerably, depending on the amount of medication in question, the number of times that the defendant acted illegally to obtain the drugs, and whether the defendant used the drugs themselves or sold them to others for personal gain. Misdemeanor offenses result in less than a year in jail and sometimes allow a defendant to avoid jail time altogether through participation in a drug diversion program. Felony offenses involve a minimum of one year of incarceration in either state or federal prison. More serious prescription drug offenses, such as trafficking, can result in many years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
There are a number of defenses that may be available to a defendant in a prescription drug case, including issues of credibility or bias concerning the State’s witnesses or a motion to exclude evidence that may have been obtained in violation of important constitutional rights, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Confessions obtained without advising a defendant of their right to counsel or right to remain silent may also be excluded from the evidence considered by the jury at trial in many cases. An assertion that the State has failed to meet its burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt may also be successful in some cases if elements of proof concerning the alleged crime are not proven with relevant, admissible evidence at trial.
Defending a prescription drug case takes skill, effort, and perseverance. Knowledgeable attorney Gregory H. Comings is here to help you understand your legal rights and fight for your freedom if you have been accused of criminal wrongdoing. Call us at (951) 686-3457 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. You should not delay in contacting counsel about your criminal matter, since this can make it much more difficult to defend a drug charge. In fact, if you even suspect that you are being investigated for a crime, you should talk to a San Bernardino or Riverside County prescription drug crime attorney as soon as possible. When so much is at stake for you and for your family members, this is not a time to cut corners or take chances.