Chesterfield Prescription Drug Offenses

Prescription drug cases are very serious in Virginia and they can result in significant jail sentences for those convicted. It is a high priority for law enforcement officials in the county due to the number of abuse issues that they have seen grow over the years, especially with minors and on college campuses. As a result it is imperative if you are charged that you consult with a Chesterfield drug lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense.

Severity of Prescription Drug Cases

Generally, the Chesterfield courts are very tough on prescription drug cases if it is seen as an issue of sale or distribution. In particular, they are tough if there is an aggravated case that involves a sale to minors or involves a large amount of the drug in question. However, if it is a simple possession matter or a first offense case, and the attorney can show that it is a result of substance abuse, the courts are very open to alternative sentencing options which involve treatment over incarceration.

What Issues Are Unique To Prescription Drug Cases?

Prescription drugs come with distinct issues that are not normally seen with marijuana, cocaine or other drugs. Prescription drugs are more readily available in the county and in many cases, it involves someone who has the prescription or is abusing a prescription. Individuals might sell their prescriptions to third parties just to gain more funds. Prescription drugs are also tied closely to significant substance abuse issues. In many cases, prescription drugs are abused due to their availability and the likelihood for abuse is higher.

Building a Defense

The first thing to know regarding a prescription drug case is just because you have a prescription does not mean you are immune to a charge. In most cases, individuals have a valid prescription, but there is either an error in the prescription, they have an incorrect amount or they are misusing the prescription and this can result in criminal charges.

What also makes these charges different is that these cases are usually a self-medication issue so if an attorney can show they court that the person is making steps toward treatment and actively involved in drug counseling, they can typically arrange for alternative sentencing or first offender type treatment to avoid incarceration.

Can You be Arrested If You Don’t Have Your Prescription On You?

Someone can still be charged even if they do show that the drugs are legally prescribed. It may not always result in a conviction, however, if the prescription is outdated or if the amount of the drug in question differs from what is noted on the prescription, it will often result in criminal charges.

Typically, the officer would charge the person if they have no proof that the prescription is valid and/or if it is an outdated prescription. It is your responsibility to have evidence of the prescription or the legality of prescription with you at all times. Additionally, having a valid prescription is a good legal defense.

Importance of An Attorney

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 and in many cases what an attorney can do is challenge the prescription drug case on several grounds. They can challenge the search and seizure, they can challenge the chain of custody regarding the testing of the drugs but they can also challenge whether it was a valid prescription or not. You also want an attorney that can explore alternative sentencing options that may be available in the county of Chesterfield.