Defining Prescription Drug Charges in Arizona
Arizona law, A.R.S. § 13-3406, states that it is illegal to acquire prescriptions without valid medical directive. Possessing, distributing, or selling a legal prescription drug can be seen as a serious criminal offense under the right circumstances. In most cases, prescription drug charges revolve around a person who was in possession of a drug for innocuous purposes but could not produce the prescription when detained by law enforcement.
Despite the nonviolent nature of drug crimes, and the prevailing sense that many arrests are misunderstandings, the consequences upon conviction are high. Contact us today if you have been charged with a drug crime for experienced representation.
What are Arizona’s Prescription-Only Drug Laws?
Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-3401, “prescription-only drugs” are not recognized by qualified scientific experts as being safe for use because of their potentially harmful effects unless under the supervision of a medical professional. These drugs are approved via section 32-1962 or the federal act, and are required to include “Rx only” or “Caution: Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription” on the labels.
Stealing Prescription Drugs & Other Prescription Crimes
Stealing drugs could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the amount stolen, the type of drugs stolen, and if they were stolen with intent to sell. Additionally, a felony theft may be charged depending on the value of the drugs stolen as it can amount to grand theft.
Other offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Prescription forgery
- Driving under the influence of prescription drugs
- Identity theft in order to fill another’s prescription
- Forging or altering a valid prescription
A person convicted of a prescription drug crime may face numerous penalties, such as:
- Up to a year in prison
- Several hundred or even thousands of dollar in fines
- Hours of community service
- Mandatory drug rehabilitation
Experienced Prescription Drug Crime Legal Counsel
Our Mesa criminal defense attorney has recently handled and won a case involving prescription drug charges. Our client was accused of possessing prescription medication without a prescription. He explained to the police that the pills belonged to his ailing mother, for whom he was the only caretaker. They did not listen to his statement and brought the charges against him. Through our legal knowledge and steadfast persistence, we were able to have the case entirely dismissed.
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