The Prescribed Medication Abuse Charges and Penalties
The Prescribed Medication Abuse Charges and Penalties

Avoid running into worst case scenarios when you are out in Las Vegas with a prescribed medication in possession.

If you are under a medication and you’re visiting Las Vegas or just out to buy some medication, you should be aware of the law regarding the prescription drug before it becomes a problem.

The charges for Prescribed Medication Abuse of a controlled substance which includes the prescription drugs is a very serious offense in the state of Nevada. An offense may lead you to an arrest for illegal possession of medication and prescription or possession of a medication without a prescription.

Joel Mann stated in an article that,

The New Law SB288 or Senate Bill Number 288 was created in an attempt to combat the rise in prescription drug abuse by monitoring prescription history. The Bill proposed that all authorized personnel who handle commercially manufactured prescription narcotics be granted access to a prescription drug database, and required to maintain access to this database by logging in at least twice a year.

It also granted the State Board of Pharmacy and the Investigation Division of the Department of Public Safety the authority to discipline those who failed to comply. These new requirements for those authorized to write and fill prescriptions would help support the National Drug Control Strategy. After months of revisions, Senate Bill 288 was passed and went into effect as NRS 453.1545 on January 1, 2016.

NRS 453.1545  outlined the state’s computerized prescription monitoring program (PMP) requirements:

  • Board of Pharmacy Registrants who prescribe controlled substances are required to register with the PMP
  • Board of Pharmacy Registrants registered with the PMP are required to monitor the system and view
  • Provision’s to NRS 453.1545 are enforceable by the occupational licensing boards within that state

This new law intends to tighten the regulation on doctors, pharmacists, and other medical personnel to ensure that the drug prescriptions, as well as drug potential abuse, can be tracked down by the use of the prescription monitoring database.

According to Karen Connoly, if you are found in possession of any medication without a valid prescription, you could be convicted of a felony and sentenced to time in prison.

The following are on the list of commonly abused prescription drugs in Las Vegas, Nevada:

  • Oxycontin
  • Vicodin
  • Adderall
  • Xanax
  • Ambien
  • Lunesta
  • Ativan
  • Valium
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Codeine
  • Amytal
  • Roxanal
  • Percodan
  • Percocet
  • Sublimaze
  • Oxycodone
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet
  • Dilaudid
  • Demerol
  • Dexedrine
  • Concerta
  • Ritalin
  • Opana
  • Dolophine
  • Duramorph
  • Librium

If found in possession, you can be charged with the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (Chapter 453 of the Nevada Revised Statutes) and it may also include prescription drug charges can for alteration and forging of a prescription slip.

FIRST OR SECOND OFFENSE: A first or second conviction of unlawful possession of prescription drugs is a category E felony in Nevada, carrying one to four years in a Nevada State Prison. You may be able to avoid prison and a conviction if you are willing to enter a drug education or rehabilitation program.

THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE: A third or subsequent conviction of unlawful possession of prescription drugs is a category D felony in Nevada, which carries one to four years in a Nevada State Prison, and a potential fine of up to $20,000.

Under NRS 453.336, an individual can be charged with unlawful possession of prescription pills not for the purpose of sale if they knowingly or intentionally possess a prescription or medication.

Though there are ways to reduce a drug possession charge if your attorney could convince the prosecutor to case down to a Nevada Misdemeanor Narcotics Charge. The sentence may lower down up to 6 months in jail and/o a maximum of $1,000 fines.

  • Rehabilitation or Drug Treatment Program
  • Probation
  • SOOT or an order to “Stay Out Of Trouble”
  • Community Service
  • And a Suspended Jail Sentence, unless there’s a violation of the term of the plea deal.

Also note that if it’s your first time to get charged with a drug-related case, you are eligible for a Nevada Drug Court probation program.

This could allow you to get a drug possession case dismissed as long as you completed the rehabilitation and education treatment program. This includes a counseling once or twice in a week and random drug testing.

Kinds of Drug Courts available:

  • Adult Criminal Drug Court
  • Juvenile Drug Court
  • Dependency Drug Court
  • Dependency Mothers Drug Court
  • Child Support Drug Court
  • Prison Re-Entry Drug Court

When you get arrested for the possession of prescription drugs, several things could happen and might even become a mistake during a booking process. Not all states conduct medical examination during the booking process and it may take several weeks before you even get to see anyone who could help you. So here are some tips that will help you avoid getting arrested in Las Vegas.

Before you even start making a statement, disclose your condition or ask for a medical exam to prove that your medication is valid. The police in charge of your booking should be aware and have it written down in a Medical Treatment Form.

Make sure they get to check your medication, all information is in it. If the police confiscate your bottle and prescription, contact a family member or a friend to bring your medication at the police station.

Always assert your rights for a treatment or medication. You might need your medication in the middle of the booking process but if they do hesitate, ask them to bring you to a nearby EMS station where they can allow you to take your medication. Then you can ask for a note to testify that you are under a proper medication.

You may also contact your attorney or a bail bondsman to help you stay out of jail for medication until your court hearing.

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