Some states categorize controlled substances into “schedules” based on their potential for abuse and whether they have legitimate medical uses. Although Arizona does not use drug schedules, state law still differentiates between illegal controlled substances like narcotics and substances that are legal to possess and use with a valid prescription. However, unlawful possession, distribution, or manufacture of prescription drugs is still a serious criminal offense that can be prosecuted as a felony under certain circumstances.
When facing criminal charges involving prescription drugs, your priority should be to seek help from a seasoned attorney with a track record of success in similar cases. With a Gilbert prescription drug lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group on your side, you stand a much better chance of enforcing your rights and achieving a favorable outcome.
“Prescription drugs” are one of the six distinct categories of controlled substances under Arizona state law, the other five being marijuana, peyote, inhalants, narcotics, and “dangerous drugs.” Arizona Revised Statute §13-3406 specifically makes it illegal to do any of the following:
Unlike other controlled substances, no specific “threshold” amounts of prescription drugs allow law enforcement to presume intent to distribute or sell. This can make determining intent to sell a more subjective process, requiring help from a skilled Gilbert prescription drug attorney to build a strong defense strategy.
Most offenses listed above are treated as class 1 misdemeanors in Arizona, although possessing or using a misbranded drug is a class 2 misdemeanor. Furthermore, courts are sometimes open to using mandatory drug addiction treatment, probation, community services, and fines as alternatives to jail time for first-time offenders accused of unlawful possession of prescription drugs.
However, anyone who possesses or transports a prescription drug with intent to sell may be charged with a class 6 felony, meaning that a conviction for a first-time offense could result in four months to two years of prison time. Additionally, manufacturing, distributing, or selling a misbranded prescription drug is a class 4 felony punishable upon first-time conviction by one to 3.75 years of imprisonment. Repeat offenders for any felony prescription drug offense in Gilbert may face increased sentencing minimums and maximums, as our knowledgeable lawyers could further explain.
The severity of a criminal charge involving prescription drugs can vary drastically depending on the specific accusations and your criminal record. No matter the circumstances that led to your charge, support from experienced legal counsel is crucial to protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal proceedings.
A conversation with a Gilbert prescription drug lawyer could provide crucial guidance about your legal options and possible next steps. Schedule a meeting by calling Grand Canyon Law Group today.