Many people associate drug charges as being related to drugs ranging from marijuana to cocaine. However, prescription drug charges in the state of Florida are on the rise. Because of issues associated with illegal distribution and fraudulent prescriptions, Florida is tightening the loopholes and handing down harsher punishments in order to curb the issues associated with prescription drug abuse.
Common Prescription Drug Charges
As prescription drug abuse becomes more common, so do the charges. Some of the most common reasons that people receive prescription drug charges in the state of Florida are for the following reasons:
- A person has prescription pills on their body or in their vehicle, but does not have any proof of their prescription. For example, if you are actually prescribed medication but you have no proof (like a pill bottle with your name on it), then you could be charged with illegal possession.
- A person has a fraudulent prescription. Even if you do have proof of prescription, officers can still arrest you if there is probable cause that your prescription has been forged.
- If a person has a large number of pills without proper documentation, there could be grounds for a trafficking charge.
Room for Error
While prescription drug abuse is certainly serious, not everybody who is charged with it is necessarily guilty. Even if someone is legally prescribed medication, without present proof at the time they are pulled over or searched, they could end up in jail. Even if the accused has their doctor send in proof of the prescription, there is still room for suspicion of a fraudulent prescription. However, if a person is charged with any crimes associated with a prescription, there is the possibility of defense. Such defense options may be:
- Improper search by police officers;
- Entrapment by law enforcement; or
- Proof of prescription provided by doctor.
Common Prescriptions That Are Abused
There are many prescription pills that can be abused in various ways. However, there are certain prescription medications that have a high rate of abuse, the illegal possession of which is likely to lead to drug charges. Common such medications include:
- Xanax; and
Any person that has prescriptions for popularly abused medication should take precautions to always have the necessary prescription information.
What Could Happen in Court
Without proper legal counsel, any of the above situations could lead to an unnecessary charge, a trial, and a guilty verdict. If that is the case, the accused is facing the potential of a third-degree felony charge, up to five years in prison, and a $5,000 fine. The amount of drugs in possession could also enhance sentencing. As Florida tries to crack down on serious prescription drug use, the punishments are expected to only stay severe.
Looking for Answers?
If you or someone you know needs help with a prescription drug charge, we can help. The Skier Law Firm, P.A., located in West Palm Beach is ready to provide you with a free consultation about your case. Our criminal defense team is known to be aggressive and will thoroughly examine each aspect of any case we handle. You do not have to go through this alone. Contact us to get the help you deserve.