Strategies for Handling Prescription Drug Charges in California

Strategies for Handling Prescription Drug Charges in California

The rise in prescription drug abuse has led to increased scrutiny by law enforcement, especially concerning the possession and distribution of controlled substances like opioids. If you find yourself facing charges related to prescription drugs in California, understanding the legal landscape and your defense options is crucial.

At Simmons Wagner, LLP, our experienced legal team is ready to guide you through these complex legal waters. Contact us at (949) 439-5857 to request a free legal consultation.

Understanding Prescription Drug Charges

Prescription drugs, while legal when prescribed by a certified medical professional, are classified as controlled substances under both federal and state laws. This classification imposes strict regulations on their possession and use.

Legal Possession Criteria

To legally possess prescription medication in California, you must have:

  • A current and valid prescription issued by a licensed professional such as a doctor, dentist, veterinarian, or podiatrist.
  • Only the amount specified in the prescription.
  • No more than one prescription for the same drug at a time.
  • The prescription must be in your name; possessing someone else’s prescribed medication is illegal.

Violations of these stipulations can lead to serious charges under California’s Health and Safety Code Section 11350, which includes:

  • Possession of another person’s prescription medication.
  • Possession without a valid prescription.
  • Having multiple prescriptions for the same drug.
  • Possessing more of the drug than prescribed.

The Consequences of Conviction

Being convicted of a prescription drug charge can lead to severe penalties, including up to 364 days in jail and fines up to $1,000. The specific consequences largely depend on the nature of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the case.

Defense Options and Legal Strategies

At Simmons Wagner, LLP, we approach each case with a tailored strategy, understanding that each client’s situation is unique. Here are some potential defenses and legal avenues we might explore:

Pre-Trial Diversion Programs

For eligible individuals, pre-trial diversion can be a viable option. This approach generally involves rehabilitation rather than incarceration, focusing on treating substance abuse problems rather than solely punishing the behavior. Eligibility often depends on the defendant’s criminal history and the specifics of the case.

Challenging the Evidence

Another defense strategy involves questioning how the evidence was obtained. If the evidence was collected in violation of your legal rights—for instance, through an unlawful search and seizure—then it could be thrown out, weakening the prosecution’s case.

Lack of Knowledge

In some cases, we might argue that you were unaware of the prescription drugs’ presence or that they were mistakenly in your possession. This can be an effective defense if you can credibly demonstrate lack of intent to violate the law.

Why Choose Simmons Wagner, LLP?

Navigating the complexities of prescription drug charges requires skilled legal representation. Simmons Wagner, LLP prides itself on offering personalized legal services, emphasizing clear communication, thorough case analysis, and aggressive defense strategies. We start every client relationship with a free legal consultation to understand the specifics of your case and discuss the best way forward.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you’re facing prescription drug charges in California, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional legal help. Contact Simmons Wagner, LLP at (949) 439-5857 today to schedule your free consultation. Our team is here to ensure you receive the support and representation you need during this challenging time.