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Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs - HS 11350(a)/ BP 4060

Possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription is a very serious allegation and is vigorously prosecuted in San Diego County and throughout the State of California. HS 11350(a) and BP 4060 are typically the charges for unlawful possession of a prescription drug and can include hydrocodone, Oxycontin/Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, Xanax, and Percocet.

Penalties for PC 11350(a) include up to one year in county jail and may include prison time if certain conditions are met. The penalties also include probation, fines, loss of fourth amendment rights, and a criminal conviction, which may impact employment and educational opportunities. To prove unlawful possession of a prescription drug, the district attorney must prove the following:

1. The person (obtained/possessed) a prescription drug;

2. The person knew of its presence;

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

4. The prescription drug was in a usable amount; AND

5. The person did not have a valid prescription for the drug.

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. The district attorney does not need to prove that the person arrested knew what specific drug he or she possessed, only that they were aware of the presence of the substance as a narcotic drug.

There are defenses to a prescription drug charge. For example, challenging the search as illegal under the fourth amendment; no actual possession, having a valid prescription; and not knowing the substance was a prescription drug. There may be many other defenses that are specific to your case.

Contact Kern Law, APC today if you or someone you know has been charged or are under investigation for unlawful possession of a prescription drug.