Hablamos Español

Is It Illegal to Possess Certain Drugs Without a Valid Prescription in California?

According to California state law, it is illegal to possess controlled drugs without a valid prescription. Valid prescriptions can come from a physician, pharmacist, dentist, or any medical professional with a license to prescribe medication. Anyone who is carrying or distributing illegal controlled drugs may be faced with severe consequences if arrested and tried. If you are facing drug-related charges, contact a Tehama County drug crimes lawyer for representation.

What Kind of Drugs Need a Prescription?

Prescriptions can be written for both controlled and non-controlled substances. Some medications such as mild pain relief pills or allergy medications can be bought over the counter without a prescription from a medical professional. However, there are certain controlled dangerous substances (CDS) that can only legally be obtained after a sign-off from a doctor.

Schedule II drugs are the most dangerous with the highest potential for abuse but they are still prescribed for certain medical conditions. Some examples can include morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, methamphetamine, codeine, and more. To be prescribed any of these drugs certain information about the patient must be confirmed such as their name, date of birth, address, drug name and dosage, physician’s name, quantity prescribed, and more. A certain amount of refills for the medication will have to be specified as well to ensure that the patient is not continuing to receive unnecessary doses of a highly dangerous substance.

How Can I Be Convicted of Possessing Drugs Without a Prescription?

To be guilty of this drug crime you must have been knowingly in possession of a usable amount of a controlled substance. You can also be found guilty if you were intending to distribute the drugs or if they were found on your property such as in your house or car.

There are various degrees of this crime that can have a plethora of different penalties. In general, the simple unlawful possession of prescription drugs is treated as a misdemeanor, while possession with intent to sell, forging a prescription, and possession of a certain amount of illegal prescription drugs are typically charged as felonies.

The extent of your charges and penalties will vary depending on the specific details of your circumstances including where you obtained the controlled substances from, how much you had, whether you were selling them or not, if you have any prior convictions or violations, etc. Misdemeanors can result in up to a year in jail and felony charges will typically result in up to 3 years in prison.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Work with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected. They will be able to advocate for you in court and attempt to reduce your charges and sentencing. It is important to acquire the services of a skilled lawyer to avoid a criminal record and the full extent of the state law’s penalties.