Prescription Drug Cases in Richmond
In Richmond, Virginia, prescription drug cases are a high priority for law enforcement officials and are prosecuted very seriously. Below, a Richmond drug lawyer explains the intricacies of prescription drug cases, including how law enforcement and the courts handle these cases, and what someone should know if arrested and/or charged.
Severity of Prescription Drug Cases in Richmond
Prescription drug cases are very serious in Virginia and they can result in significant jail time. It’s also a high priority for law enforcement officials, especially where there are abuse issues or if it’s associated with one of the many college campuses in the city of Richmond.
Importance of an Attorney in Richmond Prescription Drug Cases
It is very important to have an attorney by your side in a prescription drug case even on a first offense. The possible penalties and exposure to jail even on a first offense are significant. In many cases, what an attorney can do is challenge a prescription drug case on several grounds. They can challenge the search and seizure, the chain of custody with regarding the testing of the drugs, but also the prescription drugs were legally possessed.
An attorney can also explore some of the alternative sentencing options that may be available in the city of Richmond, whether it be a first offender program or an outcome that orders treatment over incarceration.
In general, the courts can actually be very tough on prescription drug cases if it’s seen as a sale or distribution case. In particular, if it’s a case that occurs on one of the school campuses in the city, they can be extremely tough.
However, if it’s a simple possession charge or it’s the first offense, the courts are very open to treatment options. A first offender or alternative sentencing options are often available if the individual takes advantage of the treatment.
Absence and Presence of Valid Proof of Prescription
You can be charged with possession of prescription drugs if you do not have proof of a valid prescription on you when arrested. If you have a valid prescription your attorney would present it as evidence at trial or in negotiating with prosecutors. When traveling with prescriptions drugs it is your responsibility to have prescription information on you.
You can still be charged even if you can show that you have a prescription. If the prescription is outdated or if the amounts of the prescription are wrong, it can and will often still result in criminal charges. Your attorney will then attempt to present the proper prescription information to the Court in an effort to get your matter dismissed or reduced.
Unique Issues of Prescription Drug Cases in Richmond
Prescription drugs come with some distinct issues that you don’t see with marijuana, cocaine, or other drugs. Prescription drugs are more readily available than other drugs due to their legal status. We often see issues where people with valid prescription actually sell their prescriptions, or where people abuse their prescriptions and go from doctor to doctor to increase their prescriptions.
With prescription drug cases, we can often request the Court impose treatment over active incarceration, especially in first offender cases.
How Prescription Drug Cases Are Charged
Most of the charges result from traffic stops, where officers discovered the drugs through a search of the person or their vehicle, or where an individual is arrested for being under the influence and drugs are found upon a post-arrest search.
Important Facts About Defending Against Prescription Drug Cases
People should know that prescription drug cases are treated very seriously in the City of Richmond. Conviction on these charges often results in an active jail sentence, high fine, and license suspension. A conviction in a case like this can have a significant impact on you personally and professionally.
Most prescription cases we see are where the possession results either from an abuse issue or from a possible self-medication issue. In many cases, what we can get is the court to consider alternative sentencing for treatment versus incarceration with a long term goal of trying to keep your record clean.
Benefits of an Experienced Lawyer
When facing charges for a prescription drug offense, having an experienced drug attorney representing you is essential. All the subtle nuances will come up when dealing with a prescription drug, whether it be lab analysis, whether it be possession arguments, et cetera, and all of those things are going to come into play. Whenever someone is dealing with the subtle nuances of drug laws and proving or disproving them in the City of Richmond, they need an attorney who understands them, understands how to argue them, and can present those facts to a judge or jury.
When someone is dealing with any serious drug offense, if they do not have an attorney on their side who is able to go through these facts, go through the criminal law, and prepare a proper defense for the particular case, then they will find themselves at a great disadvantage, because they are going up against a team of individuals who spend all of their time focused primarily on getting convictions for drug offenses. Someone will not be able to be successful unless they have reached out or have retained a lawyer who understands the situation, knows what is going on, and can properly prepare the case.