Drug and Criminal Defense in San Diego
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Prescription Drug Abuse

What happens if I have prescription medications without a prescription?

Every day in the US people are prescribed prescription medications legally to treat chronic pain, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and for many other reasons. Sometimes, however, the prescription is not renewed, the person obtained the prescription medication through fraudulent means, or the person never had a valid prescription for the medications.

When this happens, he or she may find themselves in a very difficult situation. It is a misdemeanor in the State of California under Business and Professions Code Section 4060 to be in possession of prescription medications without a prescription or license.

BP 4060 provides in part:

"A person shall not possess any controlled substance, except that furnished to a person upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, veterinarian, or naturopathic doctor… or furnished pursuant to a drug order issued by a certified nurse-midwife, a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, a naturopathic doctor, or a pharmacist."

With billions of medications being prescribed annually in the US, more and more people are being subjected to this charge. Because prescription drug abuse – especially opioid abuse – often leads to the abuse of "street drugs" such as heroin, the district attorney and law enforcement takes a tough stance with respect to prosecuting these cases.

Common prescription drugs that are abused include:

Types of Defense Against a BP 4060 Charge

There are numerous defenses to a BP 4060 charge. The most obvious is having a valid prescription for the medication. Other defenses include not being in possession of the prescription medications or search and seizure issues. That is, was the search that led to the discovery of the medications permitted under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution? For example, was there a valid search warrant or some exception to the warrant requirement? If not, an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney will understand that motions to suppress (exclude) the evidence will need to be filed.

Contact a San Diego Drug Offense Attorney

If you have been arrested or you are under investigation for being in possession of prescription medications without a valid prescription, contact my office today. I will provide a free, confidential consultation.