Prescription Drugs / Prescription Fraud

Most people thing of cocaine, heroin, meth or other substances that are illegal in nearly every circumstances in Maricopa County when they talk about "drugs." However, some of the most common illegal drugs are ones that are available at the corner pharmacy: prescription drugs. While prescription drugs are perfectly legal with a prescription, it is a crime to possess them without. It's also illegal to obtain a prescription drug with a fraudulently obtained or forged prescription.

Tempe Prescription Drug Defense Lawyer

If you've been charged with any crime involving prescription drugs, whether prescription fraud or illegal possessing prescription drugs, Tempe prescription drug lawyer James E. Novak can fight for your rights. James Novak is a former prosecutor who understands how the other side thinks. He'll put his experience to work for you. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today at (480) 413-1499 or send an online message for a free consultation about your prescription drug charges.

James Novak is proud to represent clients throughout the Tempe area, including Mesa, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, East Valley and throughout Maricopa County.

Arizona Illegal Possession or Use of Prescription Drugs

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3406 lays out the law on prescription drugs. It is illegal to possess or use a prescription-only drug unless the person legally obtains the prescription from a person able to write a prescription, like a physician or a psychiatrist. The law is broad to include any drug that is only legally available with a prescription. Some of the most common include:

  • Oxycontin, or any form of oxymorphone.
  • Xanax, or any form of alprazolam.
  • Adderall or other amphetamines.
  • Vicodin, or any form of hydrocodone.
  • Valium, or any form of diazepam.
  • Codeine.
  • Morphine.
  • Demerol, or any form of meperidine.

Marijuana, while available for medical use in Arizona, does not follow under this law. Illegal marijuana possession is punished under a separate statute.

People may abuse prescription drugs for several reasons. Many have a valid prescription for the drug, but when it runs out, they are addicted. Some may seek drugs for recreational use, and prescription drugs are more readily available from loved ones or friends, or they feel prescription drugs are safer. Some may be under the mistake that prescription drugs are legal. They are not, and this misunderstanding is not a legal excuse that will spare prosecution.

It's illegal to both possess the drug yourself without a prescription, and also to administer the drug to a person who does not have a prescription.

Prescription Fraud in Maricopa County

The same section outlaws obtaining a prescription drug by "fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge." Under this law, if you are accused of using an invalid or forged prescription, or a prescription that is not written for you, you could be accused of the same crime.

People obtain fraudulent prescriptions in several ways. Some of those include:

  • Forging a prescription using a computer program.
  • Using another person's identification to get drugs that are not prescribed to that person.
  • Stealing a prescription pad from a doctor.
  • Calling a pharmacy and using false credentials to represent oneself as a doctor and ordering a prescription.
  • Altering an existing prescription to obtain a different drug or a different amount of a drug.

Tempe-Area Penalties for Prescription Drug Possession or Fraud

Possessing or using a prescription drug without a prescription, or using or attempting to use a fraudulently obtained prescription, is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500. It is the same charge to manufacture, or to possess equipment or chemicals for the purpose of manufacturing prescription drugs.

However, if accused of possessing the drugs for sale, or transporting the drugs into the state for sale, you may face a Class 6 felony charge, punishable by six to 18 months.

Regardless of felony or misdemeanor charges, your fine will be at least $1,000, under the law.

Law Office of James E. Novak | Mesa Prescription Fraud Attorney

If you are facing charges relating to prescription fraud, Tempe prescription drug arrest lawyer James Novak can represent you. Let his insight into the Maricopa County criminal justice system and experience as a former prosecutor help you during this stressful time. Call today at (480) 413-1499 or send an online message for a free consultation.

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