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California prescription drug sales and the Internet

It does not take a genius to know that the Internet has changed California. It has reshaped our economy, society's breadth and depth of knowledge and the way we entertain ourselves. Yet, as we have discussed in the previous weeks here on the blog, it has also opened up a whole new avenue through which Californians can face criminal charges. Amongst those crimes Californians could face is drug trafficking.

Under federal law, a controlled substance that has been labelled as a prescription drug by the FDA cannot be sold over the Internet without a prescription. The government defines a valid prescription as one that is issued by a practitioner who has at least one in-person consultation with the individual to whom the drug was prescribed, or another practitioner who is covering for the first. Additionally, the prescription must be written to treat a legitimate medical condition.

Those who fail to provide a prescription may be charged with a federal drug crime. This is a serious matter that, without a strong defense, could result in significant penalties, including a long prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines. A federal drug crime conviction can also ruin an individual's reputation, making his or her personal life difficult to get back on track.

This is why carefully considering one's criminal defense options is so critical. By speaking with a compassionate, dedicated and diligent attorney, those accused of drug crimes may be able to secure lesser charges that carry less severe penalties or, perhaps, an acquittal allowing them to avoid all penalties. Typically, though, the better prepared of a defense, the better likelihood one has of obtaining a favorable outcome.

Source: USDOJ.gov, "Registration of Manufacturers, Distributors, and Dispensers of Controlled Substances," accessed on Sept. 18, 2015

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