Evidence in Richmond Prescription Drug Cases 

Evidence in Richmond prescription drug cases is instrumental. Without evidence, it is hard for the prosecution to build a case. It is also hard for the defense to build a case against the prosecution without evidence. An experienced drug lawyer can be an invaluable asset during a prescription drug case. Your attorney could collect the necessary evidence to build a solid defense for you.

How Courts Treat Prescription Drug Cases

Local courts treat prescription drug cases just like they would in any other scheduled drug case. If someone is coming to court with a possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II substance without a prescription, then they have a first offender program that someone can avail themselves of. Otherwise, the state will prosecute the person as if the person is possessing cocaine or heroin.

One of the primary pieces of evidence in Richmond prescription drug cases is the proof that the drug is a drug. That is to say, there has to be some form of Department of Forensic Science lab showing that the prescription drug is, in fact, a scheduled substance because an individual cannot tell by looking at a pill what it is. A Xanax pill does not say “Xanax” on the side of it. Codeine does not say “codeine” on it. There are different markers and demarcations that indicate what a pill is and it is the responsibility of the Department of Forensic Science to come in and share that information.

Expert Witness Testimony in Prescription Drug Cases

In prescription drug cases, expert witness testimony can be an important bit of evidence in Richmond prescription drug cases. Testimony from experts in either street-level narcotics or the dealing of street-level narcotics is often used to explain to a judge why an individual who has certain prescription drugs on their person without a prescription knows that they are, in fact, that drug they are either selling or they just bought it from someone to use it for whatever reason.

Given the fact that there are no demarcations and there is not a smell or any physical attributes of a prescription drug to let someone know that it is not an over-the-counter type of situation, it is the responsibility of the Commonwealth to prove that not only is the drug a scheduled substance but also that the individual possessed it and knew that it was, in fact, an illegal or scheduled substance.

Proving That a Drug is a Drug

The main issues in drug cases involve proving that a drug is, in fact, a drug. The drug has to be analyzed by a lab. The lab technician must come to court and testify to that fact. A difference between prescription drugs and street-level narcotics is that there are physical attributes that exist that a judge or jury can see, smell, or feel that can show that a street-level narcotic is in fact what it is.

Physical Attributes of Street-Level Drugs

Marijuana is a green, leafy substance that has a bad smell depending on the strain. Cocaine is off-white, rock-like substance. Normally, it is packaged in a baggie or something along those lines. Heroin can be an off-white or opaque paste wrapped in certain materials. All of those things can go to show that, a drug is what it looks like. A person possessing it would also have reason to know that it is, in fact, what it is. However, with a prescription drug, that does not exist. Often prescription drugs are odorless, textureless pills. The pills do not have a specific scent or taste to them and can sometimes be generic.

Arguments in Prescription Drug Cases

As mentioned above, pills are pretty non-descript in flavor and scent. Given that it is a pill, it can be argued – and often is, and most of the time successfully – that possessing it alone does not show that the individual who had it knew that it was, in fact, that particular drug, an example being there are certain sleeping pills and certain over-the-counter no-go type situations.

A sleeping pill that resembles a couple of prescription pills but is something that can be sold over the counter is not illegal to possess whereas the prescription drug is, and so the Commonwealth must show or has to prove that the individual who possessed the drug knew that it was, in fact, that illegal drug and not just an over-the-counter drug. That is a hurdle that they constantly have to get over, and a good defense attorney is always going to jam them up with those particular facts and evidence in Maryland prescription drug cases that makes that point. That is why those who have been charged with drug offenses should seek the help of capable drug attorneys that can fight for them.

Prescription Drug Cases in Richmond