Prescription Drug Crimes
In Florida, access to some prescription medications is restricted by law. If you are found in possession of a controlled medication that was obtained without a valid prescription, or if you give your prescribed medication to someone else, you may be facing criminal charges. At Ellis and Bryant, our Jacksonville drug crime attorneys have the skill and knowledge to defend individuals who have been charged with drug possession or other prescription drug offenses. We can provide assertive defense representation and seek to protect you against the prosecution in a prescription drug crime case.Prescription Drug Laws in Florida
Federal and state laws classify and regulate certain types of drugs, which are known as controlled substances. Controlled substances generally are considered to have the potential for abuse, or physical or mental dependence. Numerous prescription medications, as well as illicit street drugs, are classified as controlled substances. In fact, people may be surprised to learn that many commonly prescribed medications are subject to the same laws as cocaine and methamphetamines. That is because Florida drug laws cover all controlled substances, including controlled medications that may be prescribed by a doctor. A few examples of frequently prescribed controlled substances are Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, Xanax, and cough medicines with codeine.
In Florida, a person may not possess a controlled substance unless it was lawfully provided by a practitioner or obtained with a valid prescription. The severity of the offense depends on several factors, such as the type and schedule of the specific drug, the amount that was possessed, whether the defendant has prior drug convictions, and potentially other circumstances. In many cases, possession of most prescription drugs is a third degree felony offense. The penalties for a third degree felony conviction may include a prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum $5,000 fine. If you are unlawfully in possession of a larger amount of prescription drugs, however, you may be charged with trafficking or possession with intent to sell, a more serious crime. A seasoned drug crime lawyer can review your charges to discuss what penalties you are facing.
It is also illegal to acquire or attempt to acquire a prescription drug by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge. For example, a person may be charged with prescription drug fraud crime in Florida if they give the pharmacist a forged or altered prescription to obtain a controlled substance or misrepresent their identity in order to pick up a controlled substance prescribed to someone else. These types of prescription drug crimes are typically third degree felony offenses. Deceiving a doctor or health care practitioner to obtain a controlled substance may constitute a second or third degree felony depending on the schedule of drug involved. It is a crime to obtain or attempt to obtain a prescription for a controlled substance from your doctor that is not medically necessary through fraud, deception, or concealment of a material fact. Not disclosing an existing prescription for the same drug from another doctor, for example, may be covered under this law.
Other criminal offenses that may involve prescription medications include the distribution, sale, or delivery of a controlled substance and driving under the influence of a controlled substance, among others. It is important to remember that not all prescription drug charges will result in a conviction. There are several defenses that may result in a dismissal or reduced charge in some circumstances. A qualified defense attorney can provide more information regarding the defenses that may be available in a specific prescription drug case.Seek a Jacksonville Attorney to Defend Against Prescription Drug Crime Charges
If you have been charged with a prescription drug crime, an experienced defense lawyer can protect your rights and challenge the prosecution on your behalf. At Ellis and Bryant, our Jacksonville lawyers work tirelessly to help defendants in their prescription drug cases. We handle drug possession charges, DUI defense, and other criminal cases for people located throughout Clay and Duval Counties, particularly Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park, and Middleburg. To schedule a free consultation, contact Ellis and Bryant by phone at (904) 551-4120 or online.