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Prescription Drug Crimes

While drug crimes frequently involve controlled substances that are prohibited under state and federal law, Nevada is among the many states in the nation that has seen an increasing problem with people abusing or becoming addicted to prescription medications. When an alleged offender possesses a prescription drug without a valid prescription, that person can face the same criminal charges as somebody who possessed an illegal controlled substance.

Certain prescription drugs are included in Nevada’s schedules of controlled substances despite being legal to possess so long as they have been legally prescribed. When a person possesses or attempts to gain possession of a prescription medication without a valid prescription, that alleged offender could possibly face a lengthy prison sentence and significant fines.

Lawyer for Prescription Drug Crimes in Las Vegas, NV

Were you recently arrested or do you believe that you might be under investigation for any kind of criminal offense relating to a prescription drug? You will want to contact Gallo Law Office as soon as possible for help possibly getting the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

James C. Gallo is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas who aggressively defends clients accused of drug crimes all over southern Nevada, including Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Henderson, and many other nearby areas. Call (702) 385-3131 today to receive a free consultation that will allow our lawyer to provide a full evaluation of your case.


Overview of Prescription Drug Crimes in Clark County


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Prescription Drug Classifications in Nevada

The possible consequences of crimes relating to controlled substances are often determined by the type of drug that is involved in the criminal offense. Similar to the drug schedules that the federal government classified controlled substance under in the passage and enactment of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Nevada Revised Statutes §§ 453.510-453.550 also classify controlled substances into five schedules.

While there are certainly similarities between the federal and state classifications, Nevada does have a few drugs that are classified differently. A few of the most common prescription drugs that are classified as controlled substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Schedule I — Acetorphine, Acetyldihydrocodeine, Acetylmethadol, Allylprodine, Alphameprodine, Alphamethadol, Benzethidine, Benzylmorphine, Betacetylmethadol, Betameprodine, Betamethadol, Betaprodine, Clonitazene, Codeine methylbromide, Cyprenorphine, Desomorphine, Dextromoramide, Diampromide, Diethylthiambutene, Difenoxin, Dihydromorphine, Dimenoxadol, Dimepheptanol, Dimethylthiambutene, Dioxaphetyl butyrate, Dipipanone, Drotebanol, Ethylmethylthiambutene, Etonitazene, Etoxeridine, Furethidine, Hydromorphinol, Hydroxypethidine, Ketobemidone, Levomoramide, Levophenacylmorphan, Methamphetamine (Desoxyn), Methyldesorphine, Methyldihydromorphine, Morpheridine, Morphine methylbromide, Morphine methylsulfonate, Myrophine, Nicocodeine, Nicomorphine, Noracymethadol, Norlevorphanol, Normethadone, Normorphine, Norpipanone, Phenadoxone, Phenampromide, Phenomorphan, Phenoperidine, Pholcodine, Piritramide, Proheptazine, Properidine, Propiram, Racemoramide, Thebacon, Tilidine, and Trimeperidine. 
  • Schedule II — Amphetamine (Adderall, Dyanavel XR, Evekeo), Alfentanil (Alfenta), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic, Durogesic), Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Palladone), Levorphanol, Methadone (Amidone, Dolophine, Heptadon, Methadose, Physeptone, Symoron), Methylphenidate (Aptensio, Attenta, Biphentin, Concerta, Daytrana, Equasym, Medikinet, Metadate, Methylin, Penid, Quillivant, Ritalin, Ritalina, Rilatine, Rubifen, Tranquilyn), Morphine, Pethidine (Meperidine, Demerol), Oxycodone (Oxycet, OxyContin, Percocet), Pethidine (Meperidine), and Secobarbital Sodium (Seconal).
  • Schedule III — Androisoxazole, Androstenediol, Benzphetamine, Bolandiol, Bolasterone, Boldenone, Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Butrans, Cizdol, Subutex, Suboxone, Zubsolv), Chlorhexadol, Chlormethandienone, Chlorphentermine, Chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), Clortermine, Clostebol, Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, Dihydromesterone, Drostanolone, Embutramide, Ethylestrenol, Fluoxymesterone, Formebolone, Formyldienolone, Lysergic acid, Mesterolone, Methandrenone, Methandriol, Methandrostenolone, Methenolone, Methyltrienolone, Methyprylon, Mibolerone, Nandrolone, Norbolethone, Norethandrolone, Normethandrolone, Oxandrolone, Oxymesterone, Oxymetholone, Phendimetrazine, Quinbolone, Stanolone, Stanozolol, Stenbolone, Sulfondiethylmethane, Sulfonethylmethane, Sulfonmethane, Testolactone, Testosterone, and Trenbolone.                                                                                                      
  • Schedule IV — Alprazolam (Xanax), Butorphanol (Stadol), Carisoprodol (Soma), Chloral Hydrate (Aquachloral, Noctec, Novo-Chlorhydrate, Somnos, Somnote), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Clorazepate (Novo-Clopate, Tranxene), Dextropropoxyphene (Darvon), Diazepam (Valium), Estazolam (Eurodin, ProSom), Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), Lorazepam (Alzapam, Ativan), Oxazepam (Serax), Phenobarbital, Temazepam (Normison, Restoril), Triazolam (Halcion), Zaleplon (Andante, Sonata, Starnoc), and Zolpidem (Ambien).

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Types of Prescription Drug Crimes in Las Vegas

If an alleged offender knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance without a valid prescription, the grade of the criminal offense depends on that person’s criminal record and the drug schedule that the controlled substance is classified under. If the controlled substance is listed in schedule I, II, III, or IV, a conviction is punishable as follows under Nevada Revised Statute § 453.336:

  • First or Second Offense — Category E felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000; or
  • Third or Subsequent Offense — Category D felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.

Under the same statute, unlawful possession of a schedule V controlled substance is punishable as follows:

  • First Offense — Category E felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000; or
  • Second or Subsequent Offense — Category D felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Nevada Revised Statute § 453.391 also makes it a criminal offense for a person to unlawfully take, obtain, or attempt to take or obtain a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance from a manufacturer, wholesaler, pharmacist, physician, physician assistant, dentist, advanced practice registered nurse, or any other person authorized to administer, dispense or possess controlled substances. The statute also criminalizes knowingly obtaining any controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance from another practitioner without disclosing that the alleged offender is undergoing treatment and being supplied with any controlled substance or a prescription for any controlled substance from another practitioner.

The statute listed above is commonly referred to as “doctor shopping,” and it is a category C felony in Nevada punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Under Nevada Revised Statute § 453.331, it is also a category C felony subject to the same punishments for an alleged offender to knowingly or intentionally:

  • Distribute as a registrant a controlled substance classified in schedule I or II, except pursuant to an order form as required by state law;
  • Use in the course of the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance a registration number which is fictitious, revoked, suspended or issued to another person;
  • Assume falsely the title of or represent himself or herself as a registrant or other person authorized to possess controlled substances;
  • Acquire or obtain or attempt to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, subterfuge or alteration;
  • Furnish false or fraudulent material information in, or omit any material information from, any application, report or other document required to be kept or filed under state law;
  • Sign the name of a fictitious person or of another person on any prescription for a controlled substance or falsely make, alter, forge, utter, publish or pass, as genuine, any prescription for a controlled substance;
  • Make, distribute or possess any punch, die, plate, stone or other thing designed to print, imprint or reproduce the trademark, trade name or other identifying mark, imprint or device of another or any likeness of any of the foregoing upon any drug or container or labeling thereof so as to render the drug a counterfeit substance;
  • Possess prescription blanks which have been signed before being filled out; or
  • Make a false representation to a pharmacist for the purpose of obtaining a controlled substance for which a prescription is required.

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Nevada Resources for Prescription Drug Crimes

We have a prescription pill problem | Las Vegas Sun — In September 2015, the Las Vegas Sun published this article that examined prescription drug issues in Nevada. The article discusses some of the problems arising from prescription drug use and how legislators sought to correct those problems. You can also find statistics relating to the number of pain medications that were written by zip code between January 2010 and June 2012.

State of Nevada Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse — The National Governor’s Association (NGA) launched its Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy Academy to assist states with developing a strategic action plan for reducing prescription drug abuse tailored to each state’s unique needs. Nevada was one of seven states selected to participate in the 2014 Academy and established a Taskforce to research prescription drug abuse and related issues. You can read the recommendations of the Taskforce in this report.


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Gallo Law Office | Las Vegas Prescription Drug Crime Lawyer

If you think that you could be under investigation or you have already been arrested for any kind of alleged prescription drug offense in Clark County, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Gallo Law Office fights to protect the rights of clients in North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and surrounding areas in southern Nevada.

Las Vegas criminal defense attorney James C. Gallo represents clients in state and federal courts throughout Clark County. You can have him review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (702) 385-3131 or submit an online contact form to set up a free, confidential consultation.


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