Phoenix Prescription-Only Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

Not everyone in Arizona is aware that it is against state law to take medications prescribed for someone else or to provide your own prescription medications to others. Misuse of prescription drugs is a nationwide epidemic, and Arizona lawmakers are taking steps to apprehend those involved in prescription drug crimes. If you are facing prescription drug crime charges, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced Tempe drug crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Call AZ Defenders today for dedicated and aggressive criminal defense.

Why Choose Our Firm?

  • Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers have a successful track record, with more than 20 years of combined experience representing people who have been arrested or charged with a crime.
  • We rank among the most aggressive criminal defense law firms in the country. Our attorneys are ready and willing to fight for your rights in court.
  • We offer dedicated, personalized service to our clients. Our experienced attorneys will handle whatever is necessary to support you and your case.

Opiate Addiction and Dependence

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in the last decade, prescription painkiller deaths have reached epidemic proportions – greater than the deaths from heroin and cocaine combined. A big part of the problem is non-medical use of prescription drugs without a prescription. As stated by The CDC:

  • Enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in a recent year to medicate every adult in the U.S. around the clock for a full month.
  • 15,000 people die every day from an overdose of prescription painkillers nationwide.
  • In a recent year, one in 20 people age 12 and older reported using prescription painkillers for non-medical purposes during the past year.
  • Non-medical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurance companies $72.5 billion annually in direct healthcare expenses.

What are Prescription-Only Drug Crimes?

Prescription-only medications are intended for use only as prescribed, and only by the persons for whom they were prescribed. Any other use of these drugs is unlawful. Prescription-only drug crimes involve:

  • Possession or use without a valid prescription;
  • Sale, administration, or manufacturing without a permit; or
  • Transporting for sale, importing into the state, selling, or transferring prescription-only drugs, or offering to do so, without authorization.

Arizona Law on Prescription-Only Drugs

Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3406, it is:

  • A class two misdemeanor to possess or use a misbranded drug (with false or misleading labeling or packaging).
  • A class one misdemeanor to possess or use a prescription drug without a valid prescription from a licensed doctor; possess equipment and chemicals for manufacturing prescription-only drugs without a permit; manufacture a prescription-only drug; administer a prescription drug to another person in violation of the law; or obtain or procure administration of a prescription-only drug by fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or subterfuge.
  • A class six felony to possess a prescription-only drug for sale without the proper license or permit; or transport prescription-only drugs for sale, import them into the state, sell or transfer them, or offer to do so, without authorization.
  • A class four felony to manufacture, sell, or distribute a misbranded drug.

What are the Penalties for Prescription-Only Drug Crimes?

Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3406, prescription-only drug crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the offense. Possession or use (with no intent to sell) is a class one misdemeanor. If convicted, a person with no prior criminal history may face probation, fines, and drug rehab, with no jail time, provided probation is successfully completed. On the other hand, possession with the intent to sell and sale of prescription-only drugs without a valid license are charged as class six and class four felonies, respectively. These felony crimes carry stiffer penalties, including potential incarceration.

Defenses Against Drug Crime Charges

Our attorneys are adept at finding any weakness in the prosecution’s case and using it to our client’s advantage. We will utilize every applicable defense against prescription-only drug crime charges, including: no proof of possession; no specific intent to sell; and suppression of evidence due to illegal searches, Miranda and right-to-counsel violations, illegally forced confessions, and other violations of our clients’ constitutional rights.

Get Help from AZ Defenders

Being charged with a prescription-only drug crime in Tempe, Arizona is a serious matter, and conviction carries serious penalties. Contact AZ Defenders today for the dedicated advocacy and experienced representation you need.

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