Law enforcement officers focusing on prescription drug crimes

Several different steps proposed to help deal with the number of individuals abusing prescription drugs.

California, like many other states, has long been concerned over the number of individuals abusing prescription drugs. The state has attempted several measures to limit access to these drugs, but, is still trying to find a long-term solution to this problem.

Recently, law enforcement agencies in the region have been cracking down on individuals who possess or distribute these substances. Often, local, state and federal agencies work together to investigate these crimes, which means that federal prison time may be possible for those who are convicted of more serious offenses.

There are many different ways in which these drugs may be obtained, which can mean additional penalties for offenders. In some situations, individuals may gain access to a physician's prescription pad. Prescriptions are then forged, and the pills can be sold on the street at a higher markup.

In other cases, patients may engage in doctor-shopping. They visit with several medical professionals, looking for someone who is willing to give them a prescription for the drugs. If the doctors agree to provide easy access, they may run the risk of losing their medical license if police determine that they are engaging in unlawful behavior.

Federal government agencies are also taking steps to help curb the prescription drug problem, by making it more challenging for people to obtain these substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reclassified certain drugs that have a potential for abuse, such as hydrocodone, which includes the painkiller Vicodin.

The new DEA classifications have moved hydrocodone up to a schedule II substance, which means that the drug is highly susceptible to abuse by individuals. These changes mean that there will be strict limits in place on the amount of the drugs that individuals may receive from their doctors. Officials hope this can prevent individuals from obtaining large quantities of the drug to sell on the open market.

If you have been charged with a drug crime connected to prescription medication, your very first act should be to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will be able to discuss the potential penalties you may be facing, as well as any possible defenses that may be available.

It is important that you understand the significance of these charges. You will not receive a lesser sentence because the substances are prescription drugs. If you have not received these drugs from a medical professional, the penalties you receive can be substantial. As police begin to target these offenders, know that prosecutors will be very aggressive in trying to obtain a conviction in your case. Do not think that you can defend yourself against these accusations.

Keywords: prescription drug crimes, criminal defense