Criminal Defense in Orange County
Crimes Related to Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drug Crimes

Anaheim Drug Defense Attorney

Were you arrested for a prescription drug related offense? Narcotics such as marijuana and cocaine are not the only drugs that can warrant an arrest in the state of California. There is the potential to be arrested for a drug offense even if you had a valid prescription. For example, you could be arrested and charged with DUI involving drugs if you were tested to have prescription drugs in your system at the time law enforcement halted your vehicle. In California, most prescription drugs are classified as Schedule II through Schedule V drugs.

Because prescription drugs can alter behavior and perception, taking prescription drugs and then driving could potentially end in a DUI conviction. You can also be arrested for possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription, writing false prescriptions or manufacturing prescription drugs without a license. If you have been accused of any of these, then make no hesitation in contacting an Anaheim drug crime lawyer from The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs.

What is prescription fraud?

If you are not a person's primary medical practitioner, then it is illegal for you to write a prescription or give a prescription out. It is also illegal for a doctor or pharmacist to write a prescription with the knowledge that there will be misuse of the drug. It is also possible for a patient (not a doctor) to write a fraudulent prescription in order to gain access to potent prescription drugs. Even some over-the-counter drugs can be used for purposes other than those intended.

Some examples of commonly abused prescription drugs are listed below:

  • ADD/ADHD Drugs: Adderall and Ritalin are both Schedule II drugs on the United States Drug Schedule. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but are not quite as dangerous as Schedule I drugs. A major concern with these types of drugs, since they are so often prescribed to children and teenagers, is that the drugs will be sold and shared among peers.
  • Painkillers: High-strength painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and even Tylenol with Codeine fall under the Schedule II and III drug categories.
  • Antidepressants: Although antidepressants have a lower potential for abuse, Schedule IV drugs such as Xanax, Valium and even sleeping pills such as Ambien can be dangerous if used improperly. These drugs are also illegal to possess without a valid prescription from a primary caregiver.

Possessing a Drug Without a Prescription

It is illegal to use your prescription drug for any other purpose than intended. Depending on how you react to a particular prescription drug and the known side effects of the drug, it may be illegal to drive after taking the drug. Even if a drug is prescribed to you, you cannot sell or share them to others. According to the California Health and Safety Code § 11350, it is illegal to possess a Schedule II drug without a prescription. This could be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Possession of a Schedule II prescription drug for the purpose of sale or trafficking can warrant one year in county jail to 2-5 years in state prison. The penalties will differ depending on the nature of the crime and the exact type of Schedule II drug. Schedule III, IV and V drug crimes may not be as serious, but they can still warrant a misdemeanor. Some individuals convicted of prescription drug crimes may qualify for a California drug diversion program or "deferred sentencing" program.

To learn more about prescription drug crimes and how an Anaheim drug attorney from the firm may be able to assist you, call today and receive a free case evaluation.


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