Illegal prescription drug possession is a felony charge and can have extremely far reaching consequences in an individual’s life. A felony conviction will close a large number of doors in an individual’s life. In addition, felonies, even the least serious in Virginia, are punishable by up to five years in prison. For this reason it is important to work with an Manassas prescription drug attorney when charged with this offense.
While it is true that the person with a first offense is not likely to face the most serious penalties, under the right circumstances, they can, particularly when they have a significant criminal record. Another reason to have the assistance of an attorney is that drug possession charges are susceptible to a number of different defenses, which can be very successful. These include challenging the evidence on a constitutional basis under the Fourth or Fifth Amendment, to challenging the government’s proof and whether it meets all of the elements and charges of these cases. Experienced Manassas prescription drug attorneys frequently have these kinds of charges either thrown out or reduced based on the successful employment of these defenses.
A person can in fact be arrested for possessing prescription drugs in Manassas if they do not have their prescription on them. Ultimately, it will be a defense to prove that a person is lawfully in possession of a prescription because if a person is searched and is found to be in possession of such drug, and makes an incriminating statement related to it or a conflicting statement related to it or has difficulty producing the prescription, police will charge them with the felony possession of a Schedule I or II in most cases. That is a charge that could potentially stick unless there can be proof brought forward that the person does, in fact, have not just a valid prescription, but a current prescription.
In most cases, if the police investigate and determine that a person does, in fact, have a valid prescription, then they will not bring charges. There are, however, exceptions. For example, if a person is in possession of more drugs than they should be, given the quantity that has been prescribed for them, or if they are in possession of prescription drugs well past the date when the prescription occurred or when it might reasonably be thought that a person would have used them, they can still be charged under those circumstances.
Manassas Prescription drug offenses are very serious, and they are a high priority for Manassas law enforcement as well as prosecutors. Many drugs that are available by prescription qualify as either Schedule I or Schedule II drugs. These are the same categories as drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine, and heroin. Accordingly, they are also treated extremely seriously. Prescription drug abuse is among the more prevalent kinds of drug use and drug abuse in the Manassas community. This can be anything from Oxycodone or Percocet, which are pain killers, to other kinds of drugs, such as Xanax. For this reason, a significant effort is underway to detect and to prosecute these kinds of crimes.
Prescription drug cases are treated very seriously by the courts. They are felony charges which can trigger significant penalties, including having a conviction on an individual’s permanent record, prison time, as well as a license suspension. There is also a belief in the judicial community and among prosecutors that this is the kind of activity which disproportionately harms teenagers and young people in school because it is so prevalent in those groups. Thus, there is in some cases a more ardent desire to stamp this out, while trying to make sure that individuals receive treatment and are under supervision.
There are some defenses that are unique to this kind of offense, and there are some defenses which are common to other drug possession cases. In a Manassas prescription drug case, it is not going to be enough to have had a prescription for the drug at some point in the past; the individual needs to have a current prescription for the drug. If they do not have a current prescription for the drug, it is going to be very similar to other kinds of drug cases where the primary defenses that the Manassas prescription drug lawyer will employ will relate to constitutional issues, such as violations of their Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights as well as issues of proof as to whether the government can prove that the individual was in constructed possession of the drug.
Some of the issues in prescription drug cases that are different from other kinds of drugs include that prescription drugs are manufactured legally. There is always a question as to whether the individual is legally in possession of these drugs. It is impossible in Virginia to be legally in possession of something like methamphetamine or cocaine, but there are any number of scenarios where a person could legally be in possession of Oxycodone, Xanax, or even a stronger prescription drug.
There are similarities as well as differences between prescription drug cases and other kinds of drug possession cases. The similarities include that the government still has to prove the person was either in possession of the drug on their person or they have to meet the elements of constructed possession if it was found nearby them, for example, in their car or in their own home. The primary difference in a prescription case is that it is an element of the government’s proof to show that an individual did not have a valid prescription for the drug in question. A prescription drug lawyer in Manassas, can often create reasonable doubt created around this issue. If the person has a valid prescription, that can be a very effective defense to the charge.
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