Charged with a Prescription Drug Offense?
Prescription Only Drugs, Dangerous Drugs and Narcotics
Prescription only drugs represent one category of controlled substances under Arizona law. They do not include dangerous drugs or narcotic drugs, as those terms are defined in A.R.S. 13-3401. They include, however, drugs which fit into one or more of the following categories:
- Drugs that are not considered safe except when administered by or under the supervision of a medical practitioner;
- New drugs whose use under the terms of a pending application for approval can be administered only by or under the supervision of a medical practitioner;
- Potentially harmful drugs which are not labeled with adequate directions for use by the consumer; or
- Any drug which is required under federal law to be labeled as not for dispensing without a prescription.
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In addition to prescription only drugs, there are a host of other drugs that are dispensed by prescription. They include many substances classified as dangerous drugs (for example, alprazolam (Xanax)), as well as narcotic drugs (for example, codeine). While these drugs are alike in that they may all dispensed via prescription, the classification and penalties applicable to illegal possession vary depending upon how the drug is classified:
- Illegal possession of a prescription only drug is generally a class 1 misdemeanor;
- Illegal possession of a dangerous drug is generally a class 4 felony; and
- Illegal possession of a narcotic drug is generally a class 4 felony.
Obviously, the potential penalties increase where there is a sale (or intent to sell), transportation, manufacture, offer to sell, or similar conduct alleged in a case.
Additional Offenses Related to Prescription Drugs
At The Feldman Law Firm, we understand how drug problems can lead to issues in addition to simple illegal possession of prescription drugs. Some of the effects of the use and abuse of medication can result in wide-ranging charges, such as:
- Selling prescription medication;
- Obtaining medication prescribed for person other than yourself;
- Forging or altering a prescription;
- Attempting to fill the same prescription more than one time;
- Committing fraud of various types in order to obtain prescription medication.
In addition to whatever penalties you may face for illegal possession, charges such as those listed above will subject you to further penalties, and in some cases the additional charge may be classified as a felony. Depending upon your prior criminal history, you could also be facing mandatory jail or prison time.
While some prescription drug charges may be treated more leniently than other drug crimes, all these offenses are serious, and carry substantial penalties in the event of a conviction. We understand what you are going through. We also understand how substance abuse problems can lead to the accumulation of charges which can result in life-altering sentences. At The Feldman Law Firm, we are here to help. Whatever charges you may be facing, we know how to develop a cogent strategy for your defense, and we will do everything within our power to see to it that your charges are dismissed or reduced. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your prescription drug case.