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HS 11350(a) | Prescription Fraud

Prescription fraud is a very serious allegation and is vigorously prosecuted against adults and juveniles in San Diego County and throughout the State of California. HS 11350(a) is typically the charge for prescription fraud and can include codeine, morphine, hashish, marijuana, amphetamine, hydrocodone/Vicodin, Xanax, Percocet, and oxycontin.

If convicted, the consequences can include up to three years in prison. The District Attorney has to prove the following elements in a prescription fraud case:

1. The defendant (obtained/possessed) a narcotic drug;

2. The defendant knew of its presence;

3. The defendant knew of the substance's nature or character as a narcotic drug;

4. The narcotic drug was in a usable amount;

5. The narcotic drug was obtained by using (a/an) (forged[,]/ fictitious[,]/ [or] altered) prescription;


6. The defendant knew that the narcotic was obtained using (a/an) (forged[,]/ fictitious[,]/ [or] altered) prescription.

What is a usable amount?

A usable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by someone as a narcotic drug. Trace or debris amounts are not useable and cannot be prosecuted. However, a useable amount does not have to be enough in strength or quantity to have an effect on the user.

The District Attorney does not need to prove that the defendant knew what specific drug he or she possessed; only that he or she was aware of the presence of the substance that it was a narcotic drug.

Defense for HS 11350(a)

The District Attorney can try to establish possession, for purposes of HS 11350(a), by actual possession or constructive possession – which means that the person has control over the narcotic or the right to control it, either personally or through another person.

There may be defenses to the allegations, alternatives to custody, or diversion programs that may preclude a conviction that an experienced attorney can pursue.

If you need immediate assistance on a prescription fraud charge, please contact Kern Law, APC and speak with me personally about your case. I will provide you with a free consultation.