When we normally think of drug crimes they are typically linked to illegal products like cocaine, meth and heroin. These are minor when it comes to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Often people are apprehended and charged with illegally possessing a prescription drug under the terms ‘doctor shopping’ and ‘pill mill’ pain clinics. However, there are other examples such as when someone was asked by a family member to pick up a prescription or were in possession of a prescription provided by someone who is legally not a doctor.
In Florida, it is not legal to possess any prescription drug without being given legal permission to do so, like via a valid prescription, according to Fla. Stat. § 893.13(6)(a). This, in reality means you are not permitted to possess a prescription for someone else or a prescription from somebody who does not have the authority to write prescriptions. There has to be an exception to account for medical professionals who may be traveling to a patient’s home with a prescribed drug or drug representatives whose job it is to market prescription drugs to drug stores. Pharmacists are exceptions too, as are law enforcers who may have in their possession for a short time prescription drugs taken from an offender.
Prescription drugs which are misused
These include highly addictive opioids prescribed to alleviate pain, tranquilizers and sedatives prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders. Others are stimulants used to treat conditions such as depression, narcolepsy and obesity. Throughout Florida, college campuses have students who use amphetamines, like Adderall, which allegedly improves the outcome of their studies. These are illegal unless prescribed through the correct legal means.
Florida law has five drug schedules for the possession of prescribed drugs. Schedule 1 drugs typically attract the highest penalties, while Schedule V drugs have lower penalties.
Schedule I drugs such as morphine possess the highest potential for abuse and have no acknowledged medical use in Florida or throughout the country.
Schedule II drugs also have a great potential for abuse and a have little accepted medical use in both Florida and throughout the county and include the following:
• Vicodin; and
Schedule III drugs are subject to abuse, but not as much as drugs covered by Schedule I or II, but they do have some accepted medical use in Florida and throughout the country. Examples of this type are anabolic steroids, codeine combined with prescription pills or Hydrocodone combined with prescription pills.
Schedule IV drugs are subject to less abuse than is found with Schedule III drugs and they have an accepted medical use in Florida and throughout the country and include prescriptions for Ambien, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Darvocet.
The offense of illegal possession of prescription drugs from Schedule I, II, III or IV is a felony in the 3rd degree, which could attract five years in prison in Florida and fines of $5,000 or both. Also, you could lose your driver’s license.
Distributing a prescription drug in Florida
If someone is caught possessing significant amounts of a prescription drug, law enforcers may charge the defendant with possession with the intention to sell. If it is a Schedule 2 drug this is a 2nd degree felony which carries a prison term of up to 15 years and a $10,000 maximum fine. Distributing a Schedule III and IV controlled substance is a 3rd degree felony, which could attract five years in prison and fines of $5,000.
If you have been charged with illegal possession of a prescription drug and you believe this is not justified you should contact experienced Miami criminal defense attorney who will assess your case and decide and defend your charge. You should contact experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyer, Albert Quirantes Esq., who will fight to defend you against an unjust charge. You can call his office in Miami at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.