Prescription Drugs Possession Defense
Orlando Prescription Drugs Defense Attorney
In recent years, Florida has seen a significant increase in illegal activity involving prescription medications as well as an increase in the abuse of prescription drugs. Due to the increase in the illegal use and sale of prescription drugs, law enforcement and prosecutors alike have refocused their efforts to apprehend and convict offenders. Specifically, law enforcement agencies, both state and federal, have invested resources into curbing the prescription pill trade by pursuing doctors, clinic employees, pharmacies, street level dealers, users, and anyone else suspected of illegality.
Controlled Prescription Drugs
Examples of prescription drugs that are controlled include, Codeine, Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab), Hyrdomorphone (Dilaudid), Morphine, Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone), Methadone, Amphetamine (Adderall), Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Ketamine, Alprazolam (Xanax), Carisoprodol (Soma), Diazepam (Valium), and Lorazepam (Ativan).
You face life-altering consequences if you are convicted, or even charged, with prescription fraud and you deserve an attorney who will do everything that they can to avoid an arrest or conviction. Licensed physicians and pharmacists may also lose their licenses if they are convicted.
Prescription Drug Statutes in Florida
Law enforcement can attempt to associate even minor amounts of prescription pills with a criminal trafficking enterprise. The following Florida statutes are targeted specifically at prescription drug abuse:
- Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs – Fla. Stat. § 893.13(6)(a)
Any amount in your possession, even a single pill, can be charged with a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Felony offenses take away your right to vote, own a firearm, sit on a jury, and severely impact your employment.
- Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Prescription Drugs – Fla. Stat. § 893.13(1)(a)
It is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance. Depending on the particular prescription drug and the quantity, the penalties can range from a maximum prison term of fifteen years and up to $10,000 in fines to a maximum of five years in prison, and $5,000 in fines.
- Prescription Drug Trafficking – Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(c)
The government views a surprisingly small amount of pills as evidence of drug trafficking. Doctors whose exams are not sufficiently thorough for undercover agents and those pulled over and searched during a routine traffic stop can find themselves with very steep consequences.
Drug traffickers are those who knowingly sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, or bring into the State of Florida, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of certain amounts of prescription drugs.
Trafficking in 4 to 14 grams of oxycodone or hydrocodone results in a three-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and a $50,000 fine. Four grams is roughly seven hydrocodone pills and 31 oxycodone pills.
Trafficking in 14 to 28 grams of oxycodone or hydrocodone carries a fifteen-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and $100,000 fine.
Trafficking in 28 grams to 30 kilograms of oxycodone or hydrocodone may be penalized by a 25-year mandatory minimum prison term and $500,000 in fines.
- Doctor Shopping and Prescription Drug Fraud – Fla. Stat. § 893.13(7)(a)8 and 9
The state is attempting to combat “doctor shopping,” or visiting multiple pain clinics to receive multiple and excessive prescription drugs, by requiring patients to tell their doctors they have received a similar prescription drug from a different provider within the past 30 days. If the patient is not truly in pain, but makes false representations in order to garner a prescription, the patient may be charged with fraud.
Both of these actions are third degree felonies with a possible five-year prison term and $5,000 fine.
Contact Our Orlando Prescription Drug Defense Attorneys
It is essential that anyone targeted by the government for these crimes retain legal counsel as soon as possible, even before any charges are filed. The criminal defense attorneys at NeJame Law have years of experience handling criminal defense cases in both state and federal courts, including possession and trafficking of prescription drugs. Our attorneys can challenge the basis of traffic stops, search warrants, and arrests. We have represented licensed professionals such as doctors and pharmacists and individuals who have been accused of “doctor shopping” or trafficking. If you have been charged with any related prescription drugs crimes in Orlando, Kissimmee, Winter Park or anywhere in Central Florida, call us today at 407-500-0000. We are available 7 days a week! You may also fill out the online form provided on this page and a prescription drug defense attorney from our firm in Orlando will contact you shortly. We value your privacy and will keep your information confidential.