With the boom in prescriptions for opioids and other painkillers over the last two decades, the legal and illegal market for these drugs has exploded. People who cannot get a legal prescription sometimes must turn to other means of obtaining relief.
Prescription fraud, possessing drugs prescribed for someone else, and manufacturing prescription drugs are all serious offenses for which an offender could receive time in prison or jail. However, with help from a determined drug attorney, there are effective defenses against these charges and even convicted offenders do not always serve a period of incarceration. A Scottsdale prescription drug lawyer could employ their experience, knowledge, and skill to obtain the most favorable result the facts permit.
Many commonly prescribed drugs are effective for relief of specific symptoms and conditions. Unfortunately, they are also vulnerable to abuse because of their addictive nature or because patients might build up a tolerance over time.
Limiting the reach of these drugs to only people with a valid prescription is a law enforcement priority. Some drugs that are frequently abused and often stolen, fraudulently obtained, or illegally manufactured include:
This is only a partial list of drugs that are frequently diverted or accessed through fraud.
Unfortunately, misuse of prescription drugs can lead to serious health consequences including fatal overdoses. Fraudulent prescriptions also cost the Medicare and Medicaid programs millions of dollars annually. For all these reasons, law enforcement focuses significant effort on preventing and deterring prescription drug crimes.
Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3406 describes criminal activity involving prescription drugs. Possessing drugs prescribed for others and obtaining a prescription drug by fraud are illegal. It is also illegal to provide or administer a prescription drug to someone who does not have a prescription for it.
Unauthorized possession of a prescription drug or the materials to make it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Obtaining a prescription fraudulently or forging a prescription to obtain drugs is also a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is a Class 6 felony to possess prescription drugs with the intent to transport, sell, or distribute them, and a Class 4 felony to manufacture them or possess the materials to do so.
Prescription drug prosecutions can be complex because the offender often has a medical need for the prescription. It could be difficult for the prosecutor to prove the quantity they possessed was not necessary to treat their condition. In an appropriate case, a Scottsdale attorney could take a prescription drug case to trial and force a prosecutor to prove every element of the charge.
In many cases, people involved in prescription drug crimes have become addicted to a drug that they were once prescribed. Many such defendants are eligible for sentences of probation that require intensive drug education and treatment in lieu of jail or prison time. However, everyone convicted of a prescription drug crime must pay a $1,000 fine.
Probation for these crimes is rigorous and requires frequent check-ins with a probation officer, many hours of community service, and potentially admission to a drug rehabilitation program. In all cases, drug education programs and support groups are mandatory. Someone who does not successfully meet the conditions of their probation could be arrested and detained until a judge decides whether to reinstate the probation or send the offender to jail or prison.
Diversion and alternative sentencing programs could also be available to someone convicted of transporting or distributing prescription drugs, but the opportunities are more limited. A Scottsdale attorney could advocate for the treatment alternatives that could be available in a prescription drug case.
Sentences for crimes involving prescription drugs are less harsh than for other drug crimes but a criminal conviction could still have a devastating impact on your future. Work with a Scottsdale prescription drug lawyer to try to avoid that outcome.
Grand Canyon Law Group could help you get addiction treatment and might persuade a prosecutor to reduce or dismiss a charge. Reach out today to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney.