Los Angeles Prescription Drug Attorney

Open prescription bottlesPrescription drug addiction and abuse has increased substantially in the past ten years. Many people think that California’s drug laws only apply to illicit street drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and ecstasy. However, a person can be charged with a criminal offense for possessing or selling certain prescription drugs if the drug was not lawfully prescribed to that person. In addition, individuals can be prosecuted for committing prescription fraud or engaging in doctor shopping in order to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances.

Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs

Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11350 HSC, possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription is illegal. This applies to illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine and LSD as well as painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin, anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax, and codeine. A defendant would only be criminally liable if he or she did not have a valid prescription to possess the drug in question. Recently, California voters passed Proposition 47, which reduced this offense to a misdemeanor in most cases. The maximum penalty under the law is a year in jail and extensive court fines. The Court may allow the defendant to complete a drug diversion program as authorized by Proposition 36 or Penal Code Section 1000 PC that would require the defendant to undergo drug treatment.

Possession with Intent to Sell Prescription Drugs

Defendants who possess controlled substances, including prescription medications, with the intent to sell them can be charged with a felony under California Health and Safety Code Section 11351 HSC and those who sell controlled substances can be charged under California Health and Safety Code Section 11352 HSC. This code section does not apply to pharmacists acting in accordance with their duties or others who are authorized to sell prescription medications.

Felony Possession of Illegal Prescription Drugs

Many people who are addicted to prescription drugs may have become addicted after being lawfully prescribed a medication following an accident or illness. In some cases, individuals will engage in doctor shopping or prescription fraud once their own doctor refuses to write them any more prescriptions. Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11173 HSC, it is against the law to obtain controlled substances by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, subterfuge or by concealing a material fact. This includes seeing multiple doctors in order to obtain additional prescriptions. This offense is a “wobbler” offense that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged as a felony, the maximum penalty is three years in prison.

Unlawfully Forging a Prescription in Los Angeles

In some cases, a defendant may be accused of unlawfully forging a prescription or using a counterfeit prescription pad that appears to be authentic. Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11368 HSC, forging a prescription for a narcotic is also a wobbler that is punishable by up to three years in prison. Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11162.5 HSC, possessing a counterfeit prescription pad is potentially a felony punishable by up to three years in custody.

Doctors can also be penalized for improperly prescribing controlled substances to those who are either addicts or for patients who did not receive treatment. Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11154(a) HSC, a doctor can be charged with a felony for prescribing, administering, dispensing or furnishing a controlled substance to someone who is not under his or her treatment. In addition, the practitioner will likely face disciplinary action from the Medical Board of California and may lose his or her ability to practice medicine or prescribe drugs. Doctors who knowingly write prescriptions for patients who are known drug addicts can be charged with a felony pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 11156 HSC.

If have been arrested for a criminal offense involving prescription medications, it is critical that you meet with an attorney who has the experience necessary to defend these types of offenses. Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who understands how to effectively defend clients charged with crimes involving prescription drugs.

For more information about prescription drug offenses, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.