What Is the Penalty for Selling Prescription Drugs?

About Criminal Convictions for Selling Prescription Drugs

When you think of drug dealing, you might think of meetups in public places and unfamiliar street drugs. Oftentimes, though, drug sales are much subtler than this stereotypical picture. Because prescription drugs are obtained legally, some people might not think it is as big of a deal to sell them, but this could not be further from the truth. In California, dealing prescription drugs is called possession for sale, and it is forbidden under California Health and Safety Code 11351. This law makes it illegal for anyone to sell prescription drugs under any circumstance. Selling a single pill of a prescription drug is a crime, even if the prescription is in your name.

“Possession of controlled substances for sale” is a felony with no option for pretrial diversion. Pretrial diversion (PTD) is an alternative to prosecution that is designed to conserve criminal justice resources. Pretrial diversion works to help defendants make major changes in their lives and prevent further involvement with the criminal justice system. While these measures are impactful in the lives of many, they are not an option for those charged with selling prescription drugs.

Instead, if charged with “possession of controlled substances for sale,” you could face up to two-four years in jail as well as a $20,000 fine. If you are arrested in the act of selling prescription drugs, you could be charged with “sale or transportation of a controlled substance.” This is the most serious controlled substance law in the state of California. According to the California Health and Safety Code section 11352, transportation for sale of a controlled substance is a felony publishable by 3, 4, or 5 years in state prison.

Can Felony Drug Charges Be Reduced?

If you are facing felony drug charges, it is important to get a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. One of the major factors that can influence the outcome of your case is the way the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution came into play. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires a search warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. If your Fourth Amendment rights were violated in the investigation that led to your arrest, or unlawful conduct by police officers was involved, there is a chance your case could be dismissed. It is important that the police have “reasonable suspicion” before stopping you for a potential investigation, and they must have probable cause to search your person or property.

If your case cannot be dismissed, a lawyer might be able to strike a plea deal. A plea deal, or plea bargain, is an agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or “no contest” in exchange for the prosecutor dropping the charges, reducing them, or recommending a less severe sentence. In this situation, it is still possible that you would have to serve jail time, but it could be a shorter sentence than what you would have faced if you had not sought experienced legal counsel. Another possibility is being mandated to enter a drug and alcohol counseling program and complete court-ordered community service hours as part of your punishment. Although selling prescription drugs might not seem as serious on the surface, it is a serious crime that can be met with grave legal consequences. Seeking the help of a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable on the intricate matters of the law will help produce the most favorable outcome for your case.

If you are facing drug charges or another criminal conviction, call The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch at (559) 484-2112. You can also contact us online for the aggressive legal counsel you need.

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