There are certain drugs that have a high potential for abuse even though they can also help people suffering from certain diseases and ailments. This is why you need to visit a doctor and have a valid prescription before you can carry around certain pharmaceuticals. Getting caught with certain drugs without a valid prescription can land you in some hot water, and you’ll want to meet with a Montgomery County drug lawyer to discuss your options right away.

What Drugs Do You Need a Valid Prescription For?

There are many drugs that are prescribed to treat specific conditions. Using them when you have no medical need for them is drug abuse and illegal. Some drugs that require a valid prescription include:

  • Sleeping pills like Lunesta or Ambien
  • Amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin
  • Narcotics like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Morphine, and Codeine
  • Benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax
  • Anabolic steroids

You probably recognize the names of many of these drugs. They all have valid medical uses, but they also have a high potential for abuse. This is why the supply of them must be tightly controlled and why you could face harsh punishments for possessing them without a valid prescription.

What Are the Punishments For Possession Without a Valid Prescription?

The punishments for the possession of pharmaceuticals without a valid prescription can vary based on the type of drug and how much of it was allegedly in your possession. How the drugs were obtained can also matter. Stealing a prescription pad or forging a doctor’s signature can carry penalties of their own.

Most of the time, defendants in cases like these end up facing punishments like:

Fines: You can be fined up to $25,000 just for possessing a drug without a valid prescription. How much you pay for a simple possession conviction can depend on your criminal history. If you are charged with possession with an intent to deliver, fines can rise as high as $250,000.

Jail time: Simple possession charges can result in jail time. If you are accused of possession with an intent to deliver, you could go to prison for up to 15 years.

Driver’s license revocation: Your driver’s license can be taken away for six months or more if convicted.

Can I Avoid Jail Time or a Criminal Record?

There are programs for defendants who are suffering from drug addiction. Some are eligible for Section 17 Probation, which allows them to plead guilty or no contest to a nonviolent offense if they can show that they are drug dependent. Testimony of an expert who can speak to the defendant’s dependency is often required. You cannot qualify for this kind of probation if you have a prior conviction.

Drug treatment court is another option that can keep some defendants out of jail. This can offer drug treatment and inpatient rehab programs while reducing charges or dismissing them, and this can often mean no jail time.

Contact Our Defense Attorneys

If you have been charged with a drug crime, you need to be ready to defend yourself. Contact Mudrick & Zucker to learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you build a defensive strategy and avoid jail time. We are ready to advocate for you.