Amphetamines, like the popular medication Adderall, are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the country.
Amphetamines operate as a stimulant and can be used for treating conditions like ADHD.
While amphetamines are a far cry from illegal narcotics like heroin and LSD, they are still regulated by the same federal laws that regulate common street drugs.
In California, the possession of amphetamines like Adderall without a valid prescription is treated the same as possessing illegal drugs.
Being arrested for a controlled substance like Adderall and other amphetamines can have serious consequences that can haunt you for the rest of your life.
An experienced Los Angeles drug crimes attorney can explain the legal jeopardy you face and help you understand your options. In some cases, a criminal defense attorney can work with prosecutors to have the charges against you dropped completely.What are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines are Schedule II controlled substances under federal law and have been since the 1970s. Stimulants can be traced back over 5000 years to ancient China.
Amphetamines were first synthesized in the 1800s, but they did not develop a reputation for their medicinal effects until the 1930s.
While amphetamines were used early on to treat everything from hay fever to Parkinson's disease, the risks of addiction have been well-known for years.
By the Second World War, amphetamines were commonly prescribed and used around the world. First regulated as a Schedule III drug, amphetamines were bumped up to Schedule II in 1971.What Are the Effects of Amphetamines?
Amphetamines act like a stimulant, providing a burst of energy that many crave. Abusers also seek the euphoric high that is common with abusing amphetamines.
They are also useful in treating both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression. While once frequently prescribed to treat narcolepsy and help with weight loss, medical professionals have recently turned to other options in those cases.
Like most drugs, amphetamines have potential side effects. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
- Erectile dysfunction
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Blurry vision
- Mood swings
Serious side effects are less common for users that follow dosing instructions. However, long-term abusers can face more serious psychological side effects.How Are Amphetamines Used?
Amphetamines, like Adderall and its variants, are generally taken orally in a pill form, but they can also be used intranasally and intravenously.Orally
Amphetamines typically take the form of pills. Medications like Adderall and Vyvanse come in pill form and are designed to be taken orally.
This is because most amphetamines come in time-release form. Once ingested, these pills slowly release the drugs into the bloodstream over the course of many hours.
This allows the effects to last for several hours. However, abusers have found ways around the time-release function.
Oral consumption is the most common way to ingest amphetamines for users and abusers alike.
While the time-release function makes taking the drug as prescribed less than ideal for abusers, many will chew the pills up instead of swallowing them whole.
Chewing the pills is one way to get around the time-release function and allow abusers to absorb all the drugs in short order.Intranasally
Smoking or snorting amphetamines have become two of the most common ways to abuse the drug. To snort it, abusers must grind the pills into powder before inhaling it through their noses.
Smoking drugs like Adderall also involves crushing the pills into powder. From there, the powder is mixed with a solution and heated in a pipe or other paraphernalia.
Smoking amphetamines can be especially dangerous to your health. These pills come with fillers that were not intended to be exposed to high heat.
When Adderall is smoked, the toxic fumes can have carcinogenic effects from burning the fillers.
Taking the drugs Intranasally is the fastest way to absorb the drugs in the bloodstream.Intravenously
Some abusers prefer injecting amphetamines into the veins or muscles. While amphetamines do not come in a liquid form like morphine, some abusers will grind the pills into a powder and mix them with a solution.
Injecting amphetamines will cause the drugs to reach the bloodstream faster than taking them orally. This method is dangerous, as bits of the pill can get stuck in an abuser's veins or arteries. These blockages can cause serious health concerns or even death.Are Amphetamines a Controlled Substance in California?
The federal government determines what substances are so addictive that their possession and sale should be regulated.
The drug schedules were created by the United State Controlled Substances Act. According to California Health and Safety Code 11350, it is illegal to possess any controlled substance without a prescription or license.What Happens if I Get Caught with Adderall? Legal Repercussions
If you are caught with Adderall without a valid prescription, you may face legal consequences. In Los Angeles and other California jurisdictions, possessing Adderall without a prescription is illegal.
The severity of the consequences will depend on various factors, including the quantity of Adderall in your possession, any previous criminal history, and the specific circumstances of your case.Criminal Charges
If you are caught with Adderall without a prescription, you could potentially be charged with a crime. The exact charge may vary but could include offenses such as drug possession, possession of a controlled substance, or even drug trafficking if the quantity is substantial.
It is important to note that these charges can have serious implications for your future, including potential fines, probation, and even imprisonment.Law Enforcement Involvement
If you are caught with Adderall without a prescription, law enforcement may become involved. They may confiscate the medication as evidence and proceed with an investigation.
This could lead to additional scrutiny, including inquiries about the source of the medication and any potential involvement in illegal drug activities.Potential Penalties
If convicted, the penalties for being caught with Adderall without a prescription can vary. They may include fines, probation, community service, mandatory drug counseling or rehabilitation programs, and even incarceration, particularly in cases involving larger quantities or prior offenses.Long-term Consequences
Beyond the immediate legal repercussions, being caught with Adderall without a prescription can have long-term consequences.
A criminal record can impact various aspects of your life, including future employment prospects, educational opportunities, professional licenses, and even personal relationships.
It is vital to handle such situations with the guidance of a skilled drug attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.Unlawful Possession of Amphetamines
The unlawful possession of amphetamines is a misdemeanor under California law. A conviction under California Health and Safety Code 11350 carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail. It also carries a maximum fine of $10,000.
While these maximum punishments seem steep, the reality is many convicted of unlawful possession of amphetamines never face jail time.
In many cases, first-time offenders are given the chance to enter into a diversionary program. A diversionary program allows you to plead guilty without the judge formally entering the plea as a judgment.
If you complete the requirements set out in the diversion program and terms set by the judge, the judge will ultimately dismiss the case without entering a finding of guilt.
This will let you avoid a criminal conviction on your record altogether. Diversionary programs aren't available in every case, however.
That's where an experienced criminal defense attorney comes in. An experienced attorney will know local court customs and will be able to advise the client on their best options.Felony Possession of Amphetamines in California
Not every instance of possession of amphetamines winds up being classified as a misdemeanor. Felony possession penalties are much tougher than misdemeanor penalties.
A conviction for felony possession of amphetamines carries a state prison term of between 16 months and 3 years.
You may face felony possession charges if you have certain prior convictions or if you were arrested with unusually large amounts of the drug in your possession.What if I Have a Prior Criminal Record?
There are two separate types of criminal records that will cause a misdemeanor case to become a felony. The first is any conviction for a "serious felony" in California. The second is a conviction of any crime that would require you to register as a sex offender.Serious Felonies in California
"Serious Felony" isn't just a generic term without any specific meaning in the law. According to California Penal Code 1192.7, any prior conviction for a crime listed in the statute is charged with a felony. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Bank Robbery
The other type of previous conviction that can upgrade your misdemeanor possession case to a felony involves sex offenders. In California, certain crimes require a defendant to be entered into the sex offender registry upon conviction.
These crimes include everything from indecent exposure to forcible rape. If you have been previously convicted of one of these crimes, you will find your misdemeanor possession charge will automatically upgrade to a felony.Possessing Large Amounts of Amphetamines
There is another way possession can be a felony crime besides the prior convictions discussed above. If you are in possession of unusually large amounts of amphetamines, you may find yourself charged with possession with the intent to sell.
While the prosecutor will usually agree that small amounts of drugs are primarily for personal use, the only likely story regarding possessing large amounts is that you intended to sell them.
Possession with the intent to sell amphetamines is a felony that carries a prison sentence of 2, 3, or 4 years. It's important to note that, unlike regular possession cases, diversionary programs are not available to those charged with possession with the intent to sell.
It takes skill and experience to show a jury of your peers that you did not possess amphetamines with the intention to sell or traffic them.
An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to show a jury that you either never possessed the drugs or ever intended to sell them.Contact a Los Angeles Drug Crimes Attorney Aggressive Amphetamines Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you are facing charges for illegally possessing amphetamines in Los Angeles County, attorney William Kroger is here to help.
No two cases are the same, and William S Kroger has the experience necessary to defend your rights and help you make educated decisions about your case.
Attorney Kroger is an experienced criminal defense attorney with years of experience practicing criminal defense law in LA and throughout California.
Mr. Kroger understands that the outcome of your case can have an enormous effect on your future.
Not only is your liberty at stake but your ability to obtain housing or employment could be forever altered as well.
To discuss your legal options, call William Kroger Attorney Law at 323-655-5700 or online to schedule a free consultation.