Prescription Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyers Advocate for Clients Accused of Prescription Drug Crimes in Western Pennsylvania
Many people tend to associate drug crimes with illegal or illicit substances like cocaine and heroin, but the nationwide opioid epidemic has placed a spotlight on substances that many obtain and use legally every day—prescription drugs. In some cases, the possession, use, sale or other actions involving prescription drugs are punishable on the same level—or with even greater severity—than crimes involving substances that are clearly illegal. Although prescription drugs are legal when used properly, because of the potential for abuse of these prescription drugs, the laws in Pennsylvania impose strict penalties whether you are charged with possession, illegally obtaining the drugs or intent to distribute the prescription drugs.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we are committed to building strong and compelling defense strategies for clients accused of prescription drug crimes in Erie and throughout Western Pennsylvania. We not only have an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and laws governing prescription drug crimes, but we realize that many who are accused of prescription drug crimes may be suffering from addiction. We treat every client with the compassion and respect that they deserve while fighting to minimize the consequences that allegations of prescription drug abuse can generate.
Types of Prescription Drug Crimes Punishable in Erie, PA
The penalties for prescription drug crimes depend upon the type of drug involved, as well as the action alleged and your past criminal history. Some examples of prescription drug crimes and their penalties under Pennsylvania laws include:
- Simple possession. For first offenders, simple possession is a misdemeanor crime and can result in up to one year in jail and $5,000 in fines. For second offenders, the penalties increase to three years in jail and a maximum of $25,000 in fines.
- Possession with intent to deliver. This is a felony-level prescription drug crime that could result in up to 15 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
- Unlawful manufacturing of prescription drugs. Unlawful manufacturing of prescription drugs is a more serious crime that can result in 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, depending upon the circumstances.
Obtaining a prescription through fraudulent means, such as stealing a doctor’s prescription pad, altering a prescription, using someone else’s prescription or forging a doctor’s signature, is also a prescription drug crime under Pennsylvania law. It is also a prescription drug crime to share prescription drugs with another—certain sharing of prescription drugs may be classified as illegal distribution even without sale of the drugs involved.
Pennsylvania also makes it a criminal offense to sell prescription drugs that you obtained legally to someone else—perhaps a drug dealer or even a friend. Doctors, pharmacists, and pharmacies can also be held criminally responsible for prescription drug crimes committed by those individuals and organizations.
Purchase, George & Murphey Provide Strong and Smart Advocacy for Clients Accused of Prescription Drug Crimes in Meadville, PA
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we do not take allegations of prescription drug crimes lightly—and neither should you. A conviction can result in jail time, extensive monetary fines and a criminal record that will haunt you for years to come. Our prescription drug crimes lawyers have the experience necessary to build the strongest possible defense strategy for clients accused of illegal actions involving prescription drugs, such as:
- And more
If you have been charged with a prescription drug crime involving these or other controlled substances, our talented prescription drug crimes defense lawyers will provide strong advocacy and will help you explore all possible alternatives to avoid conviction or minimize the charge if possible in your case.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation to Discuss Your Prescription Drug Crime Allegations with Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been accused of a criminal offense involving prescription drugs, don’t make the mistake of taking the charges lightly. Prescription drug crimes carry felony-level punishments that can have lasting consequences in both your personal and professional life and can result in substantial jail time. Call our experienced prescription drug crime defense lawyers if you have been charged with a prescription drug crime in Erie or elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania. You can also fill out this secure online contact form or use our online chat feature to reach our lawyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prescription Drug Crimes in Erie, PA
FAQ: Are there any alternatives in Pennsylvania that can allow me to avoid a formal conviction on prescription drug charges?
Yes, for certain clients, Pennsylvania has developed programs that can allow alternative disposition of your case without a formal conviction. The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic act provides methods that can allow first-time, nonviolent prescription drug crime offenders to complete a period of probation that will result in dismissal of the charges brought against them. Generally, this program will be available to individuals who have been accused of a prescription drug crime and can demonstrate that they are addicted to the drug involved and satisfy certain other criteria. Qualifying for this program can be complex, and our skilled prescription drug crimes defense lawyers can help.
FAQ: What should I do if I have been arrested and accused of a prescription drug crime?
Importantly, remember to avoid making any statements to the police or prosecution without the presence of a qualified prescription drug crimes lawyer—you may incriminate yourself without realizing it, and these statements can be used by the prosecution to build their case and against you in court. Even though many believe that prescription drug crimes are less serious because the drugs are not illegal in all cases, it is important to retain an experienced prescription drug crimes defense lawyer to protect your rights. Not only can a lawyer help you explore alternatives that may be available to avoid conviction, but a skilled lawyer can build a strong defense and ensure that the prosecution bears the full burden of proving every element of the crime alleged.