Prescription Drug Crimes

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Prescription Drug Crimes

In California, and under Federal Law, drug crimes are not limited to illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Unlawful possession, possession for sale, trafficking, manufacturing, or distribution of prescription drugs can also lead to criminal charges. In addition, prescription fraud charges carry stiff penalties. The legal team at Don Ho Law knows how to defend against these charges, and will fight to protect your rights and reputation.

Which drugs are “controlled substances”?

A variety of drugs are illegal without a valid prescription. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Xanax
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Valium
  • Medical Marijuana
  • And many others…

What are Prescription Drug Crimes?

Prescription drug crimes can take several forms, and are governed by a number of different California laws.

California Health and Safety Code §§ 11350-11352

Health and Safety Code § 11350 makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance without a valid prescription, and § 11351 makes it illegal to possess any controlled substance with the intent to sell it. Health and Safety Code § 11352 makes it illegal to transport such substances without a prescription, or to sell them.

California Health and Safety Code §§ 11173, 11153

Health and Safety Code § 11173 makes it illegal to obtain prescription drugs by fraud or deceit. This includes pretending to be a pharmacist, or forging prescription labels. Health and Safety Code § 11153 prohibits doctors from issuing prescriptions for illegitimate reasons.

California Business and Professions Code § 4324

Business and Professions Code § 4324 makes it a crime to write a false prescription or to possess drugs that were obtained by using a false prescription. This includes pretending to be a doctor or pharmacist, forging prescriptions, or stealing a doctor’s prescription pad.


The penalties for prescription drug fraud depend heavily on the facts of each case, making it essential for you to have an experienced defense attorney by your side. Sentencing for a prescription drug crime will depend on whether it is charged as a state or federal offense, as well as the amount ant type of the drug in question. A prescription drug offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and can result in prison time and fines of up to $20,000. Call Don Ho Law today to discuss your case and begin building your defense.

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