With so much stress you have to deal with, taking a sleep medication is a tempting option to feel well rested and simply shut down. The power of sleep medications has poured into other activities where people want to tune out. Ambien (along with Sonata and Lunesta) prove to be highly habit-forming and can lead some people’s lives out of control.
Due to it’s powerful sedative effects, Ambien (zolpidem) is a Schedule IV narcotic under the DEA guidelines—making it a controlled substance that is illegal to possess without a valid prescription.
Similarly, California makes it a felony under the Health and Safety Code based on the same guidelines.
Since Ambien (zolpidem) possession used to be a felony, the maximum punishment allowed used to be up to one year in county jail or up to three years in prison for those not eligible for probation due to having criminal histories. After the passing of Proposition 47, possession is now a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail.
The good news is that first time offenders may be eligible for drug treatment so that they can avoid any jail time as well as any probationary period.
Depending on one’s circumstances, as well as the manner in which the case was investigated, there are some programs that will satisfy the court that has jurisdiction over the drug possession case and allow you to complete the course to satisfy the terms of your offense.
In some cases this can be tricky however. Therefore, having an experienced drug defense lawyer look into the case and evaluate the potential pitfalls is highly recommended.
While it may seem strange, a person with prescription sleeping pills does not seem to be a likely candidate to have run-ins with law enforcement. Unless of course that same person were to mix the medication with other prescription drugs or with alcohol. The combined effect would make behavior very volatile and out of character, causing a loved one to reach out for help. Notice however that even with prescription, the abuse of Ambien (zolpidem) in using it in a way that it was not intended also triggers the criminal aspects of the justice system.
Another scenario can be when driving. It may be late and the possible side effects of the medication could be kicking in. While under the observation of an officer, you could suddenly be the subject of a DUI investigation and your impairment will be noticed by someone trained to detect symptoms of drug induced behavior.
It would be best to contact an experienced drug defense attorney to have the case evaluated in detail. The laws of drug offenses can be complex and the manners in which they are investigated even more so. Therefore, to avoid regretting making a decision that can effect the rest of your life, it’s best to get a qualified and experienced opinion. Contact us to schedule an appointment and have your case evaluated for free.