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Los Angeles Prescription Drug Crime Attorneys

Navigate the Legal Issues Involving Prescription Drug Charges in Los Angeles

As incidents of prescription drug abuse and misuse rise in California, there is a growing concern for a correlating rise in associated criminal activity. Therefore, it is important to consult an experienced Los Angeles prescription drug crime attorney who understands the legal framework governing prescription drug crimes in California and how it may limit your rights.

The Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP legal team has extensive experience advocating for the rights of our clients, and our track record can attest to our success. Head attorney Mark Werksman was selected by Super Lawyers in the field of white-collar criminal defense for over ten years in a row. Partner Alan Jackson has tried more than 85 cases to jury verdict with a career success rate of 96 percent.

Call us at (213) 688-0460 for a complimentary consultation to learn more about your legal options.

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Overview of Prescription Drug Crimes in California

A comprehensive understanding of prescription drug crimes involves distinguishing between legal and illegal possession, distribution, and use of prescription drugs. California’s Health and Safety Code provides the foundational framework to address prescription drug crimes, encompassing various sections concerning the possession, distribution, and use of prescription drugs.

Common Prescription Drug Offenses include:

  • Unlawful possession or use of prescription drugs
  • Prescription fraud, forgery, or alteration
  • Illegal sale, distribution, or trafficking of prescription drugs

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Understanding the Elements of Prescription Drug Crimes

The crime of unlawful possession or use of a prescription drug has the following elements:

  • Possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription
  • Knowledge and intent to use the prescription drug unlawfully
  • Evaluation of the quantity and purpose of possession

Prescription drug offenses may involve prescription fraud. Under California law, an individual is guilty of prescription fraud if the prosecution can prove the following:

  • Knowingly obtaining or attempting to obtain prescription drugs through deception
  • Forging or altering prescription details such as dosage or patient identity
  • Possession of an unauthorized prescription drug
  • Intentionally using the prescription in a fraudulent manner

Importantly, mere possession of a forged prescription may not be adequate to prove intent in the absence of stronger evidence. A person can have an innocent explanation for possessing the forged prescription. “Doctor shopping” is a common example of prescription fraud, where an individual engages with several healthcare providers to obtain multiple prescriptions without disclosing that they obtained such prescriptions. This demonstrates the requisite intent and unlawful action contemplated by prescription fraud laws.

The crime of illegally selling, distributing, or transporting prescription drugs involves:

  • Unlawful possession of prescription drugs with the intent to sell
  • Scheduled controlled substances under California law
  • Evaluating the quantity of the controlled substance
  • Transporting or distributing the controlled substance
  • Knowledge that the prescription drug was a controlled substance
  • Lack of a valid prescription

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Penalties for Prescription Drug Crimes

When facing prescription drug crime charges in Los Angeles, the potential penalties can be life-altering. Misdemeanor charges may result in fines, probation, and mandatory drug counseling or treatment. Felony drug charges carry more severe consequences, such as imprisonment and heftier fines. Notably, certain drug offenses have mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.

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Building a Defense Strategy

A comprehensive defense strategy against prescription drug charges will attack the prosecution’s evidence establishing the elements of the crime, assert an affirmative defense to excuse the defendant’s actions, and raise due process concerns.

Effective challenges to the prosecution’s case may involve:

  • Demonstrating a lack of awareness of the illegal nature of the prescription drug
  • Establishing that the possession or use was accidental or unknowing
  • Presenting evidence that the prescription was obtained lawfully

Furthermore, the defendant can assert an affirmative defense in the following ways:

  • Providing evidence of a legitimate prescription from a licensed healthcare professional
  • Establishing a valid medical necessity for the prescription drug use
  • Obtaining expert testimony or medical records to support the defense

Your Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can identify acts that violate the defendant’s due process rights. This includes challenging the search and seizure of evidence under the Fourth Amendment and impeaching the credibility of informants or witnesses.

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The Value of Hiring a Los Angeles Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

Prescription drug crimes can have severe implications on someone’s life. It is crucial to take steps to protect your rights by understanding the legal elements and ramifications of the offenses in question and building a robust defense strategy.

The team at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is comprised of experienced and proven Los Angeles drug crime attorneys who understand the legal ins and outs of prescription drug crimes. We are here to guide you through the complex legal proceedings so you can face your charges with confidence.

Reach out to us at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942

Recent Case Results

  • Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
    Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
  • Decision Set Aside
    Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
  • Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
    Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.
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