Gilbert Drug Crimes Defense

Gilbert is a relatively affluent town of about 76 square miles in Maricopa County, Arizona. It was once an agricultural center known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World," but it is now a growing town, with 208,453 residents as of 2010. The largest employers there include Fry's, Walmart, Target, and GoDaddy. Although Gilbert has a relatively low crime rate (the FBI noted that Gilbert was the largest town with zero murders in 2005), drug abuse presents a problem there as it does elsewhere. Drug crimes are taken seriously in Arizona. If you are accused of possessing, selling, manufacturing, or otherwise trafficking in drugs, experienced Gilbert drug crime attorney James Novak can work with you to develop a strong defense strategy.

Prescription Fraud

Most people think of drug crimes as involving substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, or marijuana. However, among the more common drug crimes is prescription fraud, which is the act of obtaining prescription-only drugs without a valid prescription. Abuse of prescription drugs obtained illicitly is more common than you might think. Some commonly abused drugs are painkillers like Vicodin, Codeine, or Percocet, and anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax or Valium. Sometimes these are combined with alcohol for recreational purposes. Someone who drives under the influence of a prescription-only drug that alters his ability to drive safely can be charged with a DUI.

Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) section 13-3406 prohibits prescription drug fraud or the act of possessing, manufacturing, using, or administering to another person a prescription-only drug. It also prohibits individuals from procuring prescription-only drugs by fraud, misrepresentation or any other type of deceit. Deceitful conduct in this context would include forging prescriptions, using prescription pads without authorization, calling in invalid prescriptions, impersonating medical staff to obtain a prescription, altering the quantity of drugs on a prescription, or taking medication prescribed for someone else.

Either possessing a prescription-only drug or transporting a prescription-only drug into the state is a class 6 felony. Someone convicted of a felony violation may be required to submit to drug testing as a condition of probation or release. If you are convicted of possession or transporting a prescription-only drug into the state, the court will require you to perform 240 hours of community restitution with a drug or alcohol abuse treatment agency.

Many other prohibited actions under A.R.S. section 13-3406 related to prescription-only drugs are misdemeanors. Whether a defendant is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, a judge must sentence him or her to pay a $1,000 fine.

In addition to prison, community service, and fines, prescription fraud convictions can have serious consequences for those who hope to work as physicians, pharmacists, or in other health care fields. In fact, physicians that prescribe drugs without a legitimate purpose can also be accused or convicted of prescription fraud as well.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can mount several different kinds of defenses in a prescription fraud case. Among these defenses would be constitutional challenges to illegal search and seizure. Doctors may also be able to claim good faith if a patient failed to disclose a material fact that would have changed the doctor's prescription.

Retain an Experienced Gilbert Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love is charged with drug possession or another drug crime, there are a number of defenses that a knowledgeable Gilbert drug charge lawyer at the Law Offices of James Novak can raise on your behalf. Contact us for your free consultation today at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.